Guardiola begins another quest for glory as Man City host Leipzig
It’s Inter Milan v Real Madrid, Beşiktaş against Dortmund, Liverpool v AC Milan
Man City Manager, Pep Guardiola, knows that another failure in the UEFA Champions League will put a question mark on his continued stay at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola has not won the Champions League since his last success in 2009 and 2011 with Barcelona. Last year, he came very close but lost to Chelsea via the odd goal in the final. A year earlier, he could only make the quarterfinal where Manchester City were beating by French underdogs, Lyon.
Today, Man City will begin another journey in the competition with a home game against Germany’s RB Leipzig.
Speaking ahead of the Leipzig test yesterday, Guardiola acknowledged that his legacy with the English club lies on his ability to deliver the Champions League, adding, however, that he will not allow the missed opportunities to define this campaign.
He said: “Every season is different. We made an incredible tournament last season but now we start the new one.
“People can say Man City was a failure but it was an incredible achievement last season, playing really well in many of the games and losing against a big contender.”
Elsewhere, Turkish champions, Beşiktaş host Germany’s Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan will entertain Real Madrid, while Liverpool has a date with AC Milan.
After a busy transfer window, Beşiktaş has made a flying start to the domestic season. With three wins and one draw, it is currently joint top in the Turkish Süper Lig with 10 points.
They will go into the game with their new boys, Miralem Pjanic and Michy Batshuayi, both on loan from Barcelona and Chelsea, respectively.
Coach Sergen Yalçın’s Beşiktaş, however, will be without Umut Meraş, Domagoj Vida and new transfer Brazil’s Alex Teixeira. All three are out, injured.
Dortmund, which is currently third in the Bundesliga, will look to make a comfortable start in the Champions League. And to do so, it will count on its in-form striker Erling Haaland. The towering Norwegian already has five goals to his name in four matches.
The Germans, however, will be without attacker Thorgan Hazard, who has not recovered from an ankle knock. He joins Giovanni Reyna, Emre Can and Nico Schulz in not making the trip to Istanbul.
Four-time Champions League winners, Ajax and Sporting Lisbon are the other teams in Group C.
In other key matches today, Liverpool will host AC Milan at Anfield in a clash of titans.
Lionel Messi, in the meantime, will likely make his Champions League debut for Paris Saint-Germain against Club Brugge.
In Italy, Serie A champions, Inter Milan, will face Spanish giants, Real Madrid, while Spanish champions, Atletico Madrid, will host Portugal’s FC Porto.
Sheriff Tiraspol, on the other hand, will make history to become the first Moldovan team to feature in the Champions League. They host Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk.
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