City face ‘final’ against Barcelona

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Man City manager Pep Guardiola
  • Post published:November 1, 2016

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes his side will face a ‘final’ against Barcelona when they meet at the Etihad on Tuesday.

Barca breezed past Guardiola’s side 4-0 with the Spaniards’ return to the Nou Camp on the previous match day and after City dropped points against Celtic, the English side now face an uphill battle to seal qualification for the knockout rounds.

‘We will try,’ Guardiola told ahead of the match.

‘I have never thought that we can’t win a football match and I never will. Even when we lost 4-0. It’s difficult and we know we need to play almost perfectly to win – and if not, we will congratulate them and move on.

‘Maybe we are going to change the way we press, our buildup, control. I would like to play in good level for 90 minutes.’

City are second in Group C and after taking just one point from their last two fixtures against Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach, one point behind them in third.

‘Hopefully our quality can make the difference tomorrow,’ he says. ‘For them it’s not a final, for us it is like a final. There are just three games left. We dropped points in Glasgow and we have to recover those points.’

Heading into the encounter, City are without a recognised right back after Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta were injured. The duo’s absence means Fernando or 19-year-old Pablo Maffeo will be tasked with the job of keeping Barcelona’s MSN quiet.

‘We have to think we’ve not got right backs,’ Guardiola said. ‘We have one who recently played there and one who is 19. They have some important players out and we have to learn from the first game.’

Guardiola spent four years as manager of Barcelona, winning 14 major trophies, including three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues.

The match kicks off at 21:45.