Eurovision in Liverpool could wreck Man City’s Champions League hopes

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Eurovision could end up ruining Manchester City’s hopes of making it to the Champions League finals by forcing the Sky Blues to play Everton on Sunday rather than Saturday. The Citizens are due to play Real Madrid at the Eithad on Wednesday but will lose 24 hours of preparation time as a result of the song contest.

The eyes of Europe are set to be fixated on Liverpool on Saturday night as the 67th Eurovision song contest takes place in the city. The event requires huge numbers of police and security with people set to be celebrating right across Merseyside.

However, this has some implications for the Premier League. Everton are set to play host to City this weekend and with the Sky Blues in Champions League action on Wednesday, the league usually tries to schedule matches for Saturday to give them maximum preparation for Europe.

However, that will not be possible this weekend. Policing pressures mean it was not possible to hold the game on Saturday with Merseyside Police were unwilling to move the match after City secured semi-final qualification.

Real Madrid will not experience the same problems and with Los Blancos in action on Saturday they will have 24 hours more to prepare for the game. Reports have suggested that Carlo Ancelotti could be prepared to change his entire starting line-up for the game against Getafe too meaning the La Liga giants will be much fresher for the second leg than their English opposition.

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Guardiola voiced his unhappiness at the situation during his pre-match conference for the Everton game as he stressed he would like to have the extra preparation time for the Champions League.

“I don’t want to be distracted for Madrid, because I won’t have time,” Guardiola said when asked if the match a Goodison Park was a distraction. “Well, not much, because we play on Sunday – thank you so much.

“I don’t understand it, but I don’t want to fight for that any more. We have to adapt to it, so it doesn’t matter. We can’t play on Saturday, because of the Eurovision in Liverpool, and we don’t have too many police to handle two important events at the same time.

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“So okay, we have to adapt. What can I do? We’d prefer to play Saturday so we can prepare more, definitely. But it is what it is. I don’t fight anymore over the schedules – UEFA or the Premier League. The Premier League is more important, the schedule is the schedule.

“Since day one I felt it – and it’s not going to change. In a positive way, we have one more day to recover for the Everton game. So we prepare this way – one less day for Madrid, but one more for the Premier League and that’s good.”

City go into the second leg on level terms after claiming a 1-1 draw in Madrid making them favourites to progress to the final.

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