Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on Real Madrid clash – ‘I respect them, I don’t fear them’

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said his side must be prepared for Real Madrid to switch things up again in the second leg. Guardiola had admitted that he was surprised by Carlo Ancelotti’s use of Rodrygo Goes on the left side, with Vinicius Junior inside.

“We have to be prepared, we won’t know who plays or what role they are playing until around 10 minutes into the game. We have to do things better than in the first game, they did well and we have to adjust things.”

Guardiola did confirm that Kyle Walker ‘had been doing well in training’, and would be available, although did not confirm whether he would use him from the start or from the bench. Dubbed ‘the anti-Vinicius’ in Spain, Walker’s presence could have a major impact.

While Bernardo Silva said that he thought Real Madrid were better this season than last, Guardiola was less sure. He also held back a smile when he was asked if he feared Los Blancos.

“I respect them a lot, but not fear, no. I praise them because that is what I think. The media in Spain never believe me when I say positive things about Madrid. But I have always had respect for the club, the history, the players. When I was a footballer or now as a coach, people look at my comments and I can’t control that.”

“If I say about the grass in the end it’s their problem, but if they think it’s good, then very good. If they beat me, as they have happened many times, we will congratulate them, and good luck for the future,” Guardiola said, although he did admit that it meant more to him to beat Real Madrid.

Guardiola’s City side will be on the lookout for Real Madrid shuffling the pack, but will not only have Walker back but also Kevin de Bruyne back for the second leg, after he was forced to miss the Santiago Bernabeu game with illness.

Tags Champions League Manchester City Pep Guardiola Real Madrid
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