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Pep prepares for United 'final'

The City manager intends to rotate his squad for showdown at Old Trafford tonight, citing tiredness among some players and the need to give others a deserved opportunity.

But with City having failed to win any of their last five games - a sequence which equals the worst run of Guardiola's managerial career - the Catalan is aware of the importance of victory.

He said: "I think everyone can believe this competition is not the big one but I am going to prepare to win the game. For the players who play, we'll be depending on them to make the best performance possible. It is a final.

"I don't understand my job if I play a game thinking another game is more important - this is the most important.

"But at the same time I have to consider how the condition of the players is. Three days after it is West Brom, then Barcelona, and they are so important as well."

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