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Pep Guardiola let out a deep sigh after realizing his team would be given a rare free week ahead of Crystal Palace’s trip to Selhurst Park.

The rest eventually worked in Guardiola’s favor and City bounced back with a 1–0 win in south London. However, the defending champions had to rely on Erling Haaland’s second-half penalty to cross the line and reduce the gap to Arsenal at the Premier League summit.

Any future free weeks will depend on City’s success in the Champions League and FA Cup. However, here’s what lies ahead for Guardiola’s side as things stand.

Josco Guardiol, Ederson

Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw against RB Leipzig in Germany in the first leg / Lars Baron / Getty Images

Guardiola was so concerned about the danger he presented in RB Leipzig’s transition that City almost degenerated into a caricature of his possession-obsessed first leg.

This worked to a point as Leipzig did not attempt their first shot of the contest until stoppage time of the first half, but City’s play slowed down after the interval, leading to Josco Guardiol – nicknamed Pep due to their similar surnames. Given – the chance to cancel out Riyad Mahrez’s opener from the corner of the second half.

Without the complication of away goals, it’s winner-take-all at the Etihad in mid-week.

Josep Guardiola, Vincent Kompany

City’s FA Cup fifth round tie will see former club captain Vincent Kompany return to the Etihad Stadium / Sean Bottrill / Getty Images

Not many opposition managers have the luxury of taking their team to an away ground with a statue of themselves sitting outside. But that is the fate that awaits Vincent Kompany when Burnley travel to the Etihad in the fifth round FA Cup,

The Clarets are soaring high at the top of the Championship, playing possession-based football, in stark contrast to Sean Deitch’s approach for so many years (with great success it must be emphasised).

While Mikel Arteta is currently getting the better of Guardiola in the Premier League, can the Catalan stop one of his pupils?

Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp (left) and Pep Guardiola have battled it out at the top of the Premier League and Bundesliga over the past few years.

Only one manager has achieved more than seven wins against Guardiola during his senior management career. Jurgen Klopp has beaten him 12 times.

Klopp has achieved two of these wins this season alone by steering liverpool a Community Shield win against City in July as well as a Premier League victory at Anfield in October. That league win threatened to reignite Liverpool’s title charge, but after the international break in March the Reds moved up to fourth in the competition – although that’s not to say Klopp can’t add to his win count.

Che Adams, Nathan Ake

Southampton knocked Manchester City out of the Carabao Cup in January / Robin Jones / GettyImages

One of the few nights that Southampton lived up to the high billing that Nathan Jones had given himself Manchester City in the Carabao Cup. Guardiola admitted that his team had been easily outplayed. “The best team wins,” he shrugged. “They were better.”

Jones, admittedly, is no longer in the St Mary’s dugout – however, his replacement Ruben Seles has recorded more Premier League wins in his first three games (two) than Jones managed in his entire tenure (one).

Kevin De Bruyne

A surprise strike from Kevin De Bruyne to decide the game at King Power Stadium / Sean Bottrill / GettyImages

Less than three years earlier, Leicester became the first team away from home to score five league goals against a side managed by Guardiola. It may not seem like a long time ago, but the fact that Jamie Vardy scored a hat-trick that day adds some cosmic perspective.

veteran wardy raised just one Premier League The goal capped off a poor individual season amid a disappointing collective campaign for Fox. However, City had to rely on a spectacular free-kick from Kevin de Bruyne to put them ahead of Leicester when the two sides played an identical contest at the King Power Stadium.

Roberto De Zerbi, Josep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola (right) has long been a fan Roberto De Zerbi / Visionhaus / GettyImages

Roberto De Zerbi was appointed a month ago brightonThe Italian tactician was pictured dining with Guardiola. There is a deep mutual respect between the pair, with Guardiola insisting: “His influence in England will be massive.”

De Zerbi’s Brighton suffered a 3–1 defeat when they first faced each other in October, but their hosts suffered a myriad of problems and City were restricted to just 48% possession . It was the only time Guardiola’s side had less possession of the ball at the Etihad this season. Get ready for another tempting watch in April.

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