Pep Guardiola’s managerial prowess is up for another scrutiny tonight as his Manchester City side confront his former club Barcelona in today’s headline Champions League clash.
The City manager, who is Barcelona’s most decorated coach with 14 trophies, is set for his latest emotional return to his childhood club.
He visited Camp Nou with former club Bayern Munich who were spanked 3-0 in the 2015 Champions League semi-finals. This time, he faces another difficult task with a City side who are winless in three games.
Guardiola seeks three points
City trail their hosts in Group C by two points. And following that nail-biting 3-3 draw at Celtic, Guardiola doesn’t want anything other than a win in Spain.
“We have four games left and we need to win two of them, make six points, to be in the next round. And we are going to try to win the first points in our next game for sure,” Guardiola said on Saturday.
It may be a tall order for the English club, but they would be hoping for another bad day for the Catalan side, who haven’t lost at home since 2013.
“We are going to play like we are. I know the way we want to play but, of course, we have to know exactly against which team we’re going to play. Not too many teams win there in recent years,” he added.
The Messi hurdle
Lionel Messi announced his return from a groin injury with a goal in his team’s emphatic 4-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.
The Argentine superstar should be getting attention from the City players, including his Argentina teammate, Sergio Aguero.
“He will be difficult to stop, I know that from experience,” Aguero said.
“All we can hope is that he has a bad day and our defence plays the game of its life. It’s that difficult because Leo is the best in the world.”
Aside Messi, Luis Enrique’s side has been boosted with the return of defenders Sergio Roberto and Jordi Alba to training.