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Monday, July 16, 2018

Pep Guardiola focused on winning, expects tough fixture in Champions League knockout stage

Manchester City progressed to the last 16 earlier this month and are top of their group after extending their winning streak to 17 matches across all competitions.

By: Reuters | Published: November 22, 2017 3:37:31 pm
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City, Champions League, Feyenoord Pep Guardiola’s former teams Barcelona and Bayern Munich are among Manchester City’s potential opponents in the next round. (Source: Reuters)

Manager Pep Guardiola is calm about Manchester City’s potential opponents in the Champions League knockout stages as the Spaniard is expecting a tough fixture regardless and says the Premier League leaders are only focused on winning.

City progressed to the last 16 earlier this month and are top of their group after extending their winning streak to 17 matches across all competitions with a 1-0 win over Feyenoord on Tuesday.

Guardiola’s former teams Barcelona and Bayern Munich are among City’s potential opponents in the next round, with the draw for the knockout stages to be held on December 11.

“We play to win the games and after that, we will see how things finish,” Guardiola told reporters after the match. “It is important that City have got 15 points at this stage for the first time and we are going to go now to Shakhtar to try to finish well and to try to go and win the game.

“In the last 16, it doesn’t matter which one (you get), it always will be complicated.” Playmaker Kevin de Bruyne will miss City’s final group game at Shakhtar Donetsk on December 6 through suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the campaign but Guardiola had no complaints against the Belgian’s booking.

The Manchester side have an eight-point lead at the top of the league and travel to promoted Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

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