Pep Guardiola Urges City Squad to Prepare for Tough Clash with Real Madrid Amid Injury Boost for Opponents
Guardiola Warns Against Revenge Against Real Madrid
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has warned his players against seeking revenge against Real Madrid when they take on the Spanish giants in the first leg of the semi-final of the Champions League at the Bernabeu on Tuesday. City were leading 2-1 against Real in the semi-final last season until the 180th minute but crumbled to lose the tie.
Guardiola has cautioned his players against falling into the trap of avenging last season’s defeat, saying that it would be a “huge mistake”. Instead, he has urged them to maintain focus, play to their strengths, and give it their best shot.
“We have to be calm, know what we want to do, and do it. If we go out looking for revenge, it will be a huge mistake. It’s business as usual. We have to be prepared, try to play a good game, and know that if we do things well, we will have our chances,” Guardiola said in a press conference.
The City manager has hinted at fielding a strong team, which could include Sergio Aguero, who is back in training after his injury layoff. Also, with the second leg home game against Real, Guardiola feels that this match won’t be the deciding factor.
Ancelotti Confirms Modric’s Return and Haaland Plan Against Man City
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Luka Modric will return to the starting line-up against Manchester City in their Champions League semis first leg game at the Bernabeu on Tuesday. Modric has been out for the last three games with a thigh injury.
Despite doubts over Modric’s fitness, Ancelotti has guaranteed that the Croat playmaker will play against City. Ancelotti has also stated that his team will look to contain City’s attack and create scoring opportunities through counter-attacks.
“We’ll try to play our usual game. This is a knockout phase, not a league game. We have to be careful when we lose possession because Manchester is very strong at counter-attacks. We know how to play these games and we know how to suffer, which is important in the Champions League. We’ll try to take advantage of their weaknesses,” Ancelotti said of his game plan.
Apart from Modric’s return, Ancelotti is also looking to counter City’s offer of Erling Haaland, who impressed with his two goals against Paris Saint Germain in the quarterfinals, scoring his eighth goal in this year’s Champions League.
City Eases to Win Against West Brom
Manchester City bounced back from their disappointing weekend defeat against Chelsea, defeating relegation-threatened West Brom 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday. Goals by Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, and Riyad Mahrez helped City recover their form after their 2-1 loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals last weekend.
The victory meant that City has extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to eleven points over second-placed Manchester United. However, Guardiola still feels that there is work to do to secure the title.
“We need points and still have to work to earn them. We are in a good position, but we know there are still many challenges ahead,” Guardiola said in a post-match press conference.
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