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Guardiola: Manchester City must 'be ourselves' to beat Real Madrid in Champions League

10:44 PM GMT+8 25/04/2022
20220423 Pep Guardiola
The coach expects two tight matches when the English and Spanish league leaders go head-to-head for a place in the final

Manchester City need to be "exceptional" in both games against Real Madrid to have any chance of beating them in the Champions League semi-finals says Pep Guardiola, as he urged his side to stick to their regular playing style.

The Premier League leaders host the Spanish side for the first leg of their last-four tie on Tuesday.

City got the better of Madrid when they met in the round of 16 in the competition in the 2019-20 campaign, going through 4-2 on aggregate.

What did Guardiola say about Man City's hopes?

Guardiola expects the clashes to be tight affairs this time around too, but feels his side need to be themselves to have a chance of reaching the final.

"Listen, this competition we went through against Real Madrid but it was a tight two games," he said at a press conference.

"We went out in the quarter finals in other years when it was tight too. The reality is in the last decade we are already there, fighting for the Champions League, the group stage go through and arrive in the semi-finals.

"It's nice to be in the process. Always I had the feeling in Barcelona and [at Bayern] Munich and now here, we arrived here [in the semi-finals] and I started to expect to be here.

"For me, always I had the feeling right now we’ve been a few times in the that position, how nice it is, to be there with the best teams in the world and Europe.

"Now we try to be ourselves and compete well. We’ll need two exceptional games to reach the final and hopefully we can do it.

"It's not necessary to say much much we respect Real Madrid, how good they are. That's all. It’s an honour.

"We want to get to the final and win the final, like Madrid, like Villarreal and like Liverpool. At the same time, I’ll never underestimate what we’ve done in being here. Never ever."

Who will play at right-back for Man City?

Guardiola has a selection issue heading into the tie at Etihad Stadium. Joao Cancelo is suspended for the match, while Kyle Walker and John Stones are doubts as they continue to recover from injuries.

The lack of options at right-back resulted in suggestions that striker Gabriel Jesus could be called on to fill the position, but Guardiola has dismissed such talk.

He said: "[Stones and Walker] are doubts, Kyle didn't train for the last 10 days, John since Brighton. That's why, I don't know if they will train. We see how they feel, tomorrow take a decision.

"Jesus is not going to play right back! I expect that he could. Vinicius Junior against Gabriel could be a good battle but he won't play there. Maybe for a few minutes, but no."

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