Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has expressed his confidence ahead of their Champions League second-leg tie of Round of 16 against Real Madrid on Saturday. Guardiola said that his players were ready to hold on to their lead and proceed to the quarterfinals.
In the first leg in March in Madrid, City had overpowered Zinedine Zidane’s team 2-1. The result also meant two crucial away goals for City. Real Madrid will, thus, have a humongous task ahead of them to overturn the the first-leg deficit.
“I have the feeling today we are ready to play tomorrow, have a good performance and win the game. That’s my feeling: we are ready,” a bullish Guardiola said as quoted on the official website of Manchester City.
“Yeah, we want to [make history]. We want to win this competition, for sure. To win it, you have to beat teams like Madrid. We have to win tomorrow and the next rounds,” he added.
Despite being one of the best attacking teams in Europe this season, City have had their problems on the backline. Lackadaisical displays time and again have allowed the opponents to capitalise on counter-attack.
Against an equally potent attacking team like Real Madrid it could be a liability for City. But Guardiola assured that he bas spoken with his players and they are ready to challenge the threats that will be thrown by the likes of Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio and Toni Kroos.
“Yeah, definitely [that’s an area we need to improve]. More than just conceding, it’s the way we concede. If it’s a good action, we accept – but most of them we could have avoided,” Guardiola said.
“We know it, we spoke about that. Not now but in the last years. We know it. If we want to win this competition, we have to be better in this area,” he explained.