Sport Soccer

Friday 18 October 2019

Guardiola dismisses notion that opposition teams are intimidated by Etihad visits

Manchester City are on an impressive run of form at home.

Pep Guardiola says his side’s home form is down to hard work (Barrington Coombs/PA)
Pep Guardiola says his side’s home form is down to hard work (Barrington Coombs/PA)

By Andy Hampson, PA

Pep Guardiola does not believe Manchester City’s opponents are beaten before they arrive at the Etihad Stadium.

The champions have won 39 of their last 44 Premier League matches at home – a record they will hope to improve when they host Wolves on Sunday.

Such a statistic could intimidate visitors, but Guardiola claims that is not the case and that his side’s good results are down to their own hard work.

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Guardiola feels City have had to work hard for their home wins (Martin Rickett/PA)

The City boss said: “My feeling is no (there is no intimidation factor).

“I cannot imagine when teams before the game are not thinking, ‘We can do it’.

“I know the managers and how competitive all of them are, how they’ll try to seduce the players and say, ‘We can do it’. They’ll be thinking, ‘We can go and do a good game’.

“Sometimes we don’t win but when we do it is because we do something good.

“We have to try it against a team we know quite well. We have played many times against Nuno Espirito Santo’s team in Carabao Cups and leagues and other stuff.”

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City will hope to add to their impressive home record when they host Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves (Dave Howarth/PA)

Guardiola is proud of his side’s home record and feels that has underpinned their title successes of the past two seasons.

He said: “In some moments you need luck to win games, to make a lot of points, win titles.

“But we have effort and very good things, so I’m proud of the the effort and the way we have done it.

“Our first season (at City) was not consistent. We had problems. I didn’t expect it when I landed here. I thought at home we would be strong and away tough but it was completely the opposite in the first season.

“But since then, the second season and third season and this season as well, we have been strong at home. To try to win titles you have to be strong at home or you have no chance.”

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Fernandinho has been playing in defence Nick Potts/PA)

Fernandinho is set to continue in central defence for City alongside Nicolas Otamendi, with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte still out injured.

It will be the 34-year-old Brazil midfielder’s third game in just over a week, but Guardiola is confident he can handle it.

He said: “He didn’t have many minutes in his legs before these three games. Except the last part of last season – in the previous seasons – he’s played every three days over 11 months. So I think he can do it.”

PA Media

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