Manchester City are playing for the long term, prioritizing rotation over sure wins. Reuters/Lee Smith
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Pep Guardiola will put squad rotation ahead of rewriting the European football history books when runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City visit Newcastle Wednesday. Guardiola's side crushed Bournemouth Saturday to make it 17 successive league victories, two short of the current record for the top five European leagues, set by Bayern Munich during the current City manager's reign with the Germany club.Nevertheless, the fixture list has been relatively kind to City in terms of quality of opposition over Christmas and New Year, with the Newcastle game followed by a visit to Crystal Palace and home meeting with Watford – all clubs struggling for form.There is the real prospect that by the time City visit Liverpool in mid-January, they will have broken the record and have 20 straight league victories – not that Guardiola is motivated by the prospect.
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