Pep Guardiola will not be on the touchline for Manchester City’s trip to Molineux to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon after falling foul of an FA rule change in the offseason, it has emerged.
The Spaniard has already missed two games after undergoing minor back surgery earlier in the campaign, though that has not effected his side’s results as they have begun the season with six straight wins, leaving them two points clear of the chasing pack.
However, he is set for another game watching from afar after it emerged that his yellow card picked up against Newcastle United in their 1-0 defeat in the Carabao Cup third round will see him banned from the touchline for the next game.
The City boss cut a frustrated figure as he saw yellow late in the second half of the clash at St James’ Park, and was afterwards shown still berating the officials at full-time.
It was his third caution of the season, and though in previous seasons it would take four bookings to serve a touchline suspension, that rule was changed to three in a bid to crack down on dissent from the sidelines.
As a result, it will once again be assistant coach Juanma Lillo who directs proceedings from the technical area, while Guardiola is expected to watch on from the director’s box at Molineux.
However, Guardiola will be allowed in the dressing room pre and post match. He will also be able to conduct post-match interviews.
Though Wolves have just one win to their name so far this season, they have caused problems for both Liverpool and Manchester United without reward, and Guardiola was quick to point out their quality.
“[I have] Incredible respect for Wolves, the quality they have”, he explained. “The guys upfront, the manager did incredible at Bournemouth. Against Brighton the chances they miss, against Liverpool they have chances. The quality is there, hopefully we can respond these three games before the international break.”