Man City boss Pep Guardiola reacts to Aston Villa victory
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Former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand believes that Manchester City will win the Champions League this season. Pep Guardiola’s side face RB Leipzig in the Round of 16 of the competition next week.
Winning Europe’s top prize has been City’s sole unachieved target since becoming one of the top clubs in world football. And with the 2021 final defeat to Chelsea still fresh in the minds of players, the Etihad Stadium outfit are expected to mount a strong challenge for the competition this season.
Erling Haaland was purchased from Borussia Dortmund over the summer with European success heavily involved in the thought process, and the No 9 will be hoping to kickstart his time at the club with Champions League success – a competition he has thrived in previously.
Despite not looking like the force of old in the Premier League, Ferdinand believes that City will be crowned European champions this season. Asked about who he thinks will win the competition by BT Sport, the former United defender replied: “It’s just too difficult.
“I’m going to go with City, just because of Haaland and Pep, he’s driven to win this. He’s been involved with the Premier League, but the Champions League is where it’s at for him. He’ll shut many people up if he does get it done.”
City are currently second in the league and moved within three points of first-placed Arsenal over the weekend following a dominant display against Aston Villa, winning 3-1. The Sky Blues will be able to reclaim their spot at the top of the table on Wednesday night if they are victorious against The Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, who will be fuelled with anger from their controversial 1-1 draw with Brentford on Saturday.
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Speaking about going toe-for-toe with Arsenal for the title earlier this week, Guardiola said: “You want it? Okay, fight, take it. It’s in our hands. We’ll defend this title until the last day. This is what I’d like. We have to fight to the maximum to try to retain the title. If we don’t, accept it. But we need to give our best. My players have to feel that every day.
“The biggest motivation is that I don’t want to drop the Premier League just because we’re not who we are. If they beat us because they’re better, then this is sport, I’ll be the first to congratulate them, as I’ve always done. But not because we’re not there.”
It remains to be seen who comes out on top in north London, with both sides likely to be focused on not losing rather than gaining all three points.
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