Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola spoke to the press on Monday to preview Tuesday's massive UEFA Champions League clash with Barcelona at Etihad Stadium, the second of their group stage matchup. City lost the first game 4-0 at Camp Nou, a victory is just massive here.
Pep knows it, and it's all he's thinking about.
“We will try [to win]. 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 build up, control. I would like to play in good level for 90 minutes.
“Hopefully our quality can make the difference tomorrow. For them it’s not a final, for us it is like a final. There is just three games left. We dropped points in Glasgow and we have to recover those points.”
PEP: In the first half at Camp Nou we played well. I’d like them to show courage and put everything into the game. #MCFCB #mcfc— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 31, 2016
The one problem for Guardiola is the defense. Having already lost goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to suspension for this game, he won't have his two right-backs in Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta, who once again miss out through injury. 19-year-old Pablo Maffeo is the only natural right-back in the squad, but he's too inexperienced to face Neymar on the left side.
There is a chance Fernando starts again in that position like he did against West Brom, and that earned a great result. Guardiola didn't give away his plan, though, and thinks the injuries might play a part in what we see on the pitch, given that Barça also miss some important defensive pieces because of injury:
“We have to think we’ve not got right-backs. 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."
City absolutely need at least one point from this game to not get in trouble in terms of qualifying for a spot in the knockout round. It would take a famous win, though, but this team, with this coach, is capable of pulling off the upset.