A masterly performance by highflying Premier League leaders Manchester City on Monday, March 12 against Stoke City at Bet365 Stadium saw them restore their 16-point lead over rivals Manchester United.
- City must then win the Manchester derby to clinch the title on that day, with a win putting them 19 points clear with 18 points to play for.
"Everybody in the blue side of Manchester knows it's a once in a lifetime opportunity".
"He wants to know what happens but always accepts whatever I, Txiki and Ferran decide".
"I think they became stronger players - Xabi Alonso, Mikel Arteta, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas - a lot of young players chose to come here, and play in that league". As soon as possible will be better but now we can be relaxed, the players go away with their global teams.
"He has to go there", said Guardiola.
Guardiola rested a host of first-team regulars for the visit of Basel, including Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva.
"We've said many times family is the most important thing", said Man City manager Guardiola.
It's a scenario that is very much on the cards as things stand, though there are plenty of blanks still to be filled in-between.
Consider also Stoke's terrible recent record against the big boys, and the fact that they've conceded an average of 4.5 goals per game in their last six such matches, then it's impossible not to suggest an away win, even at odds of [1.25].
"In the bad moments, I saw how the club reacted and supported me and when I wanted to talk about plans for the future, they were there".
Stoke manager Paul Lambert, whose side are second from bottom, says Guardiola helped turn Xherdan Shaqiri into a Premier League star, despite selling him at Bayern Munich.
The in-form English team are also in with a strong chance of winning Europe's premier prize for the first time in their history. They have gone to another level. Avoiding a shellacking will be an improvement on the beating Hughes took from his former club but points are also a priority because three of their last five games pit them against other sides fighting for survival - West Ham, Palace and Swansea plus unenviable encounters with Burnley and Liverpool.
Stoke didn't threaten City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes once and will resume its bid to escape relegation with a home game against Everton on Saturday.
"I think all the players, they run without the ball and try to regain with desire and with the ball we try to do our best".