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Thursday 8 December 2016

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola targets three points on return to Barcelona

Published 16/10/2016 | 22:46

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is hoping to beat his former club Barcelona
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is hoping to beat his former club Barcelona

Pep Guardiola is going all out for victory as he takes Manchester City to his former club Barcelona this week.

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City were handed a daunting task when they were paired with competition favourites Barca in Group C of the Champions League.

After being held to a draw at Celtic in their last group match, City head to the Nou Camp already trailing the Catalan giants by two points.

Defeat would give Celtic or Borussia Monchengladbach a chance to close in on second place but manager Guardiola is not entertaining such thoughts, or even thinking of a draw.

Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice with Barca, said: "I have never thought about the next game thinking a draw would be a good result.

"Of course it is complicated. No win in Glasgow means we have to take points off Barcelona there or here, and especially in Germany as well.

"We have four games left, we have to win two. We have to make six points to be in the next step.

"We are going to try to win the first points in the next game. That is sure."

City dominated Saturday's Premier League game against Everton but had to settle for a 1-1 draw after Maarten Stekelenburg saved penalties from Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero.

Asked if a draw at Barcelona would be a good result, Guardiola said: "I don't know. It depends on the game.

"When you play like Saturday then it is not a good result, but if Barcelona play much better than us maybe it is a good result."

City will go into the game with the early-season optimism created by 10 successive wins tempered slightly after a run of three without victory.

But Everton boss Ronald Koeman, who played alongside Guardiola at Barca, believes City have the capabilities to win in midweek.

The Dutchman said: "I think they are strong enough as a team to get a good result in Barcelona but when you play against (Lionel) Messi, Neymar and (Luis) Suarez, they can score out of one chance.

"If Barcelona get four chances they will score three times I think. That is the problem. The qualities of Barcelona are so extremely high.

"But they can beat Barcelona, they will also have the ball. I think it is the best game you can watch between the philosophies of two teams.

"It is really high-standard football and I am looking forward to seeing that match."

Press Association

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