Sunday’s bout between the pair has been scheduled to 16:30, but according to Goal, City had requested that the fixture be shifted.
The reason is the Sky Blues’ upcoming Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
With the pair having played out a 0-0 stalemate in the first leg, everything is still to play for in the return at the Bernabeu, which will no doubt be particularly hotly contested, especially as the Citizens have their eye on a first-ever UCL final.
While Los Merengues travel to Real Sociedad on Saturday—in the day’s early kick off in La Liga—City have to wait until late on Sunday to face Southampton, meaning they have over 24 hours less to rest and prepare for Wednesday’s last-four clash.
Pellegrini isn’t impressed, and has insisted that English football will lose out if such insensitivity on the part of the schedulers continues.
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“For me, it’s unbelievable,” Pellegrini told the media [as per Goal]. “If you see other leagues, including Italy, the teams that play Champions League play their domestic games on a Friday.
“So I think it’s better for English football, because if you don’t continue in the Champions League, and I’m not talking just about Manchester City, maybe we are going to lose a spot for the next Champions League.”