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Pep Guardiola previews Gladbach, talks Champions League group, European challenge

The Catalan spoke to the press on Monday ahead of the Champions League opener

Manchester City Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images

The UEFA Champions League group stage starts on Tuesday for Manchester City, as Pep Guardiola's side welcomes Borussia Mönchengladbach to Etihad Stadium for what promises to be a very tough match for the Citizens.

After an easy Playoff against Steaua Bucharest, City were drawn into the Group of Death with Gladbach, Celtic and Barcelona, and every game will be hard in their own way. Gladbach haven't lost their last four matches against Guardiola's Bayern Munich, and the Catalan knows everything about Tuesday's opponent.

Guardiola hopes that a victory against the Germans is the beginning of a successful season in Europe for City, and Pep wants to achieve in England the same continental glories he had with Barcelona and Bayern.

"It was a pleasure to be the coach of Barcelona and Bayern and [with] their history they are used to reaching semis and finals. Manchester City don't have that. [Roberto] Mancini helped us achieve the first step and Manuel did a really good job to reach the semi-finals. We have big, big targets in the Champions League.

"We are far to compete from the best teams in Europe. We have to improve a lot of things. We're first in the Premier League but the way we have played until now, it will be not enough to win the Premier League so you have to improve.

"Gladbach are a brave team, one of the best teams in Europe right now. They have a lot of quality. The draw was difficult for us. They beat me many times [two of the last four meetings, the other two were draws] and they are aggressive. They make the game one-on-one in the build-up and when that happens it is a fight, man to man. With the ball they are so, so intelligent."