Manchester City enter the Round of 16 of this year’s Champions League on Tuesday night with the first leg of their tie against Swiss champions FC Basel.
The Shark Team have arrived in Switzerland and Pep Guardiola (along with Vincent Kompany) addressed the local and international press this evening ahead of tomorrow’s big game.
Asked about the incredibly quick recovery of Leroy Sané from injury, five weeks earlier than expected, Pep seemed impressed by his young winger.
“He’s gained a lot of time, he has worked very hard. He and the physios have done a good job,” Guardiola told the assembled media.
“(Is Sané fit enough to start against Basel?) He’s had one training session. He is young!”
Can this impressive City side go all the way and win the Champions League this season? Pep isn’t sure and is setting more modest goals…
“I don’t know if we’re ready (to win the Champions League. I have a lot of confidence in these guys, they know that.
“Our goal is to do better than we did last season, which means going through to the quarter-finals.”
Guardiola believes the key will be imposing City’s high-intensity style on the Champions League, like they have been so far.
“We’ve tried to impose our style of playing in every game. The quality of opponents in the Champions League is higher. Hopefully we can control it and go through.”
The Catalan has warned his players not to underestimate their Swiss opposition, pointing to their quality on the break, as they showed in the group stage when they beat Manchester United, Benfica and CSKA Moscow.
“In the Champions League they play with a back five and put in some great performances in the group stage.
“They’re strong, well organised at the back and good on the counter attack. I’ve already told my players it will be very, very difficult, particularly here.”
Ohh Kevin De Bruyne! KDB is staying at Man City until 2023 – to celebrate the City Store have released a new KDB Initial T-Shirt!