Saturday 23 March 2019

'They are wary of Liverpool' - John Aldridge on why Man City want to avoid title rivals in Champions League draw

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp
Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp
Can Jurgen Klopp, left, and Pep Guardiola take their teams to the quarter-finals? (Martin Rickett/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

John Aldridge believes Manchester City will be "desperate" to avoid Liverpool in Friday's Champions League quarter-final draw, as he believes Pep Guardiola's side are fearful of their Premier League title rivals.

Liverpool beat City 5-1 on aggregate in last season's Champions League quarter-final, with Guardiola's cautious tactics and honest post-match comments following his side's 0-0 draw against Liverpool at Anfield in October confirming he was wary of playing expansive football against Jurgen Klopp's side.

Now Aldridge says that Guardiola will be keen to avoid Liverpool, as the club look to win the biggest prize in European football for the first time.

"City don't like playing Liverpool and we saw that in the way they approached the game at Anfield this season," states Aldridge of the side who are currently one point ahead of the Reds in a tight Premier League title race. "They are wary of what Liverpool can do to them and City don't have that mentality against any other opponent.

"Guardiola has always played open and attacking football, but he changed that plan because he was fearful of what happened to his team when he took them on in a straight battle of attacking football last season.

"They were hammered twice at Anfield at the start of 2018 and those defeats left a lasting impression. That will stand Liverpool in good stead every time they play City and this is why I believe Guardiola will be desperate to avoid another trip to Anfield in the Champions League."

Aldridge suggests Liverpool's impressive victory against Bayern Munich confirms Klopp's side are ready to reach a second successive Champions League final, but he suggests there are two sides he would like his former club to avoid in Friday's draw.

"Barcelona and Juventus are teams that can hurt you because they have the experience and the two best players in the world in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo," he adds.

"There is no one in this draw Liverpool will fear, but Barca and Juve are probably the teams you would not want to play at this stage of the competition because they are serial trophy winners who know how to get the job done when it matters most."

Read more here:

When is the Champions League quarter-final draw?

The draw will take place on Friday 15 March at 11.00am GMT.

The semi-final draw will then take place immediately afterwards.

As usual, the draw will be held in Nyon, Switzerland – the home of Uefa.

How can I watch the draw?

The draw will be shown live on BT Sport 2.

You will also be able to stream the draw via Uefa.com.

And join us at Independent.ie for the latest news, updates and reaction from Switzerland.

Which teams are in the quarter-final draw?

  • Ajax (Netherlands)
  • Barcelona (Spain)
  • Juventus (Italy)
  • Liverpool (England)
  • Manchester City (England)
  • Manchester United (England)
  • Porto (Portugal)
  • Tottenham Hotspur (England)

How does the draw work?

There is no seeding or country protection in the Champions League quarter-final or semi-final draw.

The semi-final draw takes place immediately afterwards, meaning teams will immediately know their potential paths to the final.

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