We can play much, much worse than we played (last week), and we can win” – Guardiola offers interesting Manchester City assessment before second leg against Real Madrid

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola feels his team can beat Real Madrid to reach consecutive UEFA Champions League finals by playing ‘badly’.

The Sky Blues hold a 4-3 advantage from the first leg coming into the Santiago Bernabeu for the decider on Wednesday night. Guardiola appears confident in his team’s chances, although he thinks the unpredictable nature of the sport means anything can happen.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the game, he said:

“We can play much, much worse than we played (last week), and we can win. Nobody knows; football is unpredictable. I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. There are moments you train really bad and make an exceptional performance.”

Manchester City, who lost to Chelsea in the 2021 final, have become a European powerhouse under Guardiola. They have reached the knockout stage of the Champions League every year under his management.

The Spaniard believes that experience could be valuable as City seek to win the elusive competition, adding:

“There will be guys that they wake up in the morning and how will be their mood and how will be their form and many things that experience didn’t help. The fact we have been there, we have been there quite a lot in the last years in these big games and these scenarios.”

He continued:

“In those terms, we have been here, and when you have won and have been there (it can help). When you think I have been there, and I know how to handle the situation, that helps, but it is not a guarantee. Because we have been there before doesn’t mean that we are going to play good or perform well.”

Manchester City face selection headaches ahead of Real Madrid visit

Manchester City are aiming to reach their second straight Champions League final but face some key decisions in terms of selection.

Kyle Walker has returned from an ankle injury he sustained in the clash with Atletico Madrid, but Guardiola said he will make a decision in the eleventh hour. He said:

“He is going to travel, and tomorrow we will decide. He was three weeks without training, but I am happy he is back.”

However, in a selection boost, Joao Cancelo is available after missing the first leg due to suspension and could slot into the right-back spot.

Guardiola said:

“Joao is no doubt. We will see tomorrow how Kyle is and how he trains this afternoon.”

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