Man City youngsters Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz will be given more game time
Foden, England’s Under-17 World Cup hero last summer, and Spain Under-21 star Diaz have each made three substitute appearances in the League this season – they need five to qualify for a medal.
Their only starts in domestic football came in the Carabao Cup quarter-final at Leicester in December, although Foden started two Champions League games – the dead-rubber group game in Shakthar Donetsk and the last-16 second leg against Basel when City were 4-0 up from the first.
But Guardiola is looking to increase their experience in the five remaining Premier League games – three at home and two away – because the plan is for them to play a far bigger role next season.
Benjamin Mendy, who made only four starts before suffering a cruciate ligament injury in September, is also expected to figure. Claudio Bravo has made only one substitute appearance in the League so could feature in some of the remaining games to bring him up to five appearances and earn him a medal.
But it doesn’t mean City will ease their foot off the pedal. They are intent on smashing as many records – nearly all of them held by Chelsea – as possible.
They need nine points to beat Chelsea’s record of 95 set in 2004-05. And if they win all five games they will become the first team in the Premier League era to top a century of points.
Three wins will see them beat Chelsea’s record of 30 victories set last season, and they need 11 more goals to beat another record held by Chelsea – the most goals (103) – set under Carlo Ancelotti in 2009-10.
If they win both their away games – at West Ham and Southampton – they will beat Chelsea’s record from 2004-05 of 15 away wins.
They can also achieve the best goal difference – they are +68. Chelsea, again, hold the record at +71 from 2009-10.
And to top it off they can take a record away from neighbours Manchester United, who have the distinction of the biggest winning margin. They finished 18 points ahead of their nearest rivals in the 1999-2000 season. City are currently 16 points ahead of second-placed United.
City have already set the record for the longest Premier League winning run – 18 games from the win at Bournemouth on August 27 to the goalless draw at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Eve.
The two records they can’t beat though are most home wins (18) and fewest goals conceded (15).