Football News

Guardiola: Tottenham’s new stadium won’t affect Champions League clash

By William Eldridge

Published: 11:38, 9 April 2019

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes Tottenham’s new stadium won’t affect his side in tonight’s Champions League clash.

The two English sides face each other in the quarter-finals, with all four Premier League representatives still involved in the tournament.

Familiar foes: Five things you need to know…

  1. Spurs host Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday evening.
  2. Spurs’ new stadium hosted its first competitive fixture last week as Mauricio Pochettino’s side defeated Crystal Palace 2-0.
  3. Tonight will be the first time the new stadium has hosted European football, with a full capacity of 62,000 expected.
  4. The return leg takes place at the Etihad Stadium the following week.
  5. A potential clash against Manchester United could await the winner.

Speaking to reporters ahead of his side’s clash against Spurs, Guardiola fielded questions regarding the north London club’s freshly opened stadium.

The former Barcelona boss stressed that being the first side to play a competitive European fixture at the ground doesn’t bother him as long as his players only think about matters on the pitch, rather than what is occurring in the stands.

Guardiola told the Independent.ie: “It affects us if we think about the fans, but if we think about what we do on the pitch it doesn’t affect us.

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“The stadium is what it is, the supporters support the team more than ever in the Champions League.

“We know what we are going to face and it is up to us how we handle it. We have to know how to handle the situations, if we don’t that’s because we are not prepared to go through.”

Fresh and ready 

Manchester City go into this match having made strong strides towards getting their hands on a famous quadruple. The Citizens defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday, thanks to an early goal from Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus.

Rather than return to Manchester and travel back to England’s capital for their Champions League clash with Spurs, Guardiola decided to keep his side in London so they are fresh to face both tomorrow’s match and then the rest of the campaign.

“I don’t know how fresh we are, I never know before. In the FA Cup we could have been better,” he added.

“Now all eight teams are contenders. It’s the first leg against a tough opponent and we will give it a good go.

“This team has shown they are incredibly focused playing every three days, that’s why we are here.

“We stayed in London to avoid airports, waking up earlier, one hour more, on the bus or the plane. We’ve been out, had lunch together, and it gives us more time to speak and to prepare.”

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