Guardiola challenges himself … The quarter-final knot haunts City


Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola confirms that he will not adopt a defensive plan during his meeting with Russia Dortmund this evening, Wednesday. His team’s victory in the first leg with two goals to one goal does not mean that matters have been settled for him, and therefore he will rely on an offensive plan, to make him secure an early victory to qualify for the semi-finals. “We want to win the match. We won the first match and we will try again,” the Spanish coach said. He added, “We are pleased to be here again. We have already qualified for the Champions League next season. We are training and trying to play a good match. Many things can happen. Nothing is guaranteed. We have a good result. We do not defend anything but rather we want to win.” . Guardiola and his players hope to overcome the quarter-final hurdle, as the team has been eliminated on three previous occasions from the quarter-finals of the most important European tournament. The most important stumbling block in front of the genius coach, is the young Borussia Dortmund player, Erling Haaland, who is able to turn the balance of any match by scoring goals from half-opportunities. The Norwegian player has scored 10 goals in the Champions League this season, although he has not scored in his last 6 matches in various competitions, either with his country or with his German club.Dortmund retreated domestically in the recent period, and reached fifth place on the ladder of the German league standings, and therefore is required to return and compete in Europe in order to reserve a place for him in the Champions League next season. It suffices to win Dortmund with a goal without a response, to dislodge City and qualify for the semi-finals, and this is certainly not an impossible task with Haaland in the starting line-up of the team, and the participation of captain Marco Reus, who recovered from an injury.
Dortmund coach Eden Terzic said, “Within us there is great faith, but it will not be enough on its own to cross. We played a very good game in Manchester, and we showed how much we can bother them, but we need to win, despite the difficulty of the task, but we need courage.”
For his part, City is living a very special period as it tops the Premier League standings with 74 points, and is close to clinching its third title in the last four seasons. City has scored 28 successive domestic victories, which is a record, so its focus will be on going far in the European Championship.

Liverpool x Real Madrid
A difficult season that Liverpool are going through. The domestic league champion last season, and the holder of the Champions League title the previous season, seems close to bidding farewell to the most prestigious tournament after losing hope locally, and is competing for a seat that qualifies for European championships. Liverpool lost everything when its Dutch defender, Virgil Van Dyck, was injured in the cruciate ligament at the beginning of the season, and then a ball of injuries, from Thiago Alcantara to Chamberlain, Joe Gomez, Henderson, Matip, Fabinho and many others … so the club lost many matches, and thus retreated to the middle of the local standings table, It is now ranked sixth, 22 points behind leaders Manchester City.
In order to try to win the meeting, and to benefit from the absence of important elements from Real Madrid, the first of which is the captain, Sergio Ramos, Liverpool coach, German Jurgen Klopp, may resort to starting with Alcantara and Fabinho, and keeping Nabi Keita on the bench. It also appears that the German coach needs to motivate the front line players, especially the Egyptian Mohamed Salah and the Senegalese Sadio Mane, to provide the best, after their level declined in the recent period, compared to previous years.
In terms of Real, things look good, especially after winning the El Clasico match, and the great morale that the players left. Real plays with his very big character in the Champions League, and therefore it will not be an easy opponent, even if Liverpool were in his best days.

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