Pep Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is wary of the threat Atletico Madrid carries ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League clash at the Etihad. 

The LaLiga defending champions knocked out Manchester United in the round of 16 and will be looking for a repeat of the same against their City neighbours.

Speaking during Monday’s pre-match address, the Spaniard was keen to note there is so much more to the Spanish side than just organisation and discipline.

“There is a misconception about the way he (Diego Simeone) plays,” said Pep.

“It’s more offensive than people believe. He doesn’t want to take a risk in the build-up but they are very good in the final third.

“They are so competitive. It depends on the movement of the game and they know how to play at the exact moment.

“The moment of the game, winning, losing, last minute, early minutes, beginning of the start of second half – in these situations, they are very good.

“They want to avoid risk in neutral areas. They are aggressive and when they win the ball, they play.

“Maybe I am wrong but what I have seen, they don’t close up from the back.

“Maybe at times, but not at the beginning. They come for you. They don’t close up. If they can, they will press.

“This has been going on for a while. When Luis Enrique played them at Barca, they pressed.

“If they do the process well, you can beat them. But maybe I am wrong. You see them every week. That is my sensations, and my feeling.

“And when you look at the quality of the players, they can do it.

“They will press and then in other moments switch to different formations.

“They are a very rich team tactically. What can we do to annoy them? That’s what we will do tomorrow and next week.”

This will be the third time this season that Atletico will be traveling to England, having also been in the same group with Liverpool, losing both home and away.


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