Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has suggested FA Cup replays be scrapped from the English football calendar in order to ease the burden on players.
The Catalan coach has been vocal in his disdain for the volume of matches played during the English season, particularly during the winter when cup competitions are at their busiest.
Guardiola spoke ahead of City’s FA Cup fourth-round fixture at home to Fulham and said, per BBC Sport:
"The Carabao Cup and FA Cup will be played. But maybe we could cancel the replays, have less teams in the Championship or Premier League.”
The Citizens are still on course to defend their Carabao Cup and FA Cup titles, but the Premier League crown looks all but lost with Liverpool 16 points clear at the summit.
Guardiola echoed the sentiments of Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, who called for an alternate method to decide matches other than via replay. He told reporters ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Shrewsbury Town: “Replays in the FA Cup? Have a penalty shoot-out.”
Klopp’s side recently won their maiden FIFA Club World Cup in Doha, Qatar, where they defeated Monterrey and Flamengo, the first two results in their current nine-win streak.
Both City and Liverpool also advanced to the last 16 of this season’s Champions League, where they will face Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, respectively.
Guardiola praised England’s affection for keeping tradition, but the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss continues to support the idea of a calendar more like the rest of the continent.