Pep Guardiola warned not to underestimate the ‘miraculous’ league champions targeting Man City: Anil Kandola

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Pep Guardiola has been a dominant force throughout his managerial career and his time at Manchester City has been no different.

Eight major trophies since his arrival in 2016 speak for themselves. But the only prize that has eluded him and City is the Champions League.

This season the Blues are expected to once again delve into the competition, with Sporting Lisbon next month in the round of 16.

Although the tie initially seems like a simple task, the Portuguese champions could offer a difficult test.

The city is our the writer Alex Brotherton interviewed a Portuguese football expert and Sporting fan tom kundert on Facebook Live for details.

traditional knowledge: “Sporting have been by far the third best club in Portugal in the last 20 years, and a long way from Benfica and Porto. But since the new manager Ruben Amorim arrived, they have really achieved something of a miracle in that club

“They won La Liga for the first time in 19 years last season and they are doing well again this season in all competitions and have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the second time in their history. He has done absolutely brilliantly. .

“I think even the Sporting fans don’t give the team much of a chance to strike, but I think that could be their biggest asset. Perhaps, it’s understandable that City are a bit overconfident. Sporting are a very tight-knit team and one thing that could serve them well in this game is that they have a very set system.

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Manchester City have yet to win the UEFA Champions League (Photo by Valerio Pennicino - UEFA Agency/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Manchester City have yet to win the UEFA Champions League

“In Portugal, even the opposition teams when they play against Sporting… in the pre-match press conferences, the coaches always say that everyone knows how Sporting plays. The problem is trying to stop them because they have this system. really literally, which is a 3-4-3.

“They have very attacking full-backs and they also have a very competitive midfield, a very tough midfield.

“Joao Palhinha is a very important player. And then, up front, they have a real bright hope for Portuguese football: Pedro Goncalves. And next to him, you have Pablo Sarabia, who is on loan from PSG and is a full international for Portugal. Spain”. .

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“So they have some good players, some good individual players, but I think Sporting’s biggest strength is that they are just a real team, they are not real superstars and they are very well oiled in that system.

“They play exactly the same, it doesn’t matter if they play against the strongest team in Portugal or against the weakest team in Portugal, they always play exactly the same system: 3-4-3. Manchester City, you know, obviously they will do all the right noises before and he will say that you have to take it seriously and as if it were any other team at this stage of the competition.

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“I guess subconsciously, it’s natural that they probably think it’s not going to be the same as playing Chelsea or Liverpool or even Real Madrid or one of the big teams in Europe. So if they take their foot off the gas I think they might be surprised. a bit”.

Do you think Sporting will be a difficult tie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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