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Treat Barca Like Cup Final – Guardiola Tells Players

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MANCHESTER City manager Pep Guardiola has warned his players that they must treat tonight’s Champions League game against Barcelona like a cup final.

Having lost their Group C game at the Nou Camp 4-0 last week, City have some ground to make up after also drawing their other away game, 3-3 at Celtic. Guardiola knows that his team really must take something from their rematch with his former club at the Etihad Stadium this evening.

Speaking at his lunchtime press conference yesterday, Guardiola said: ‘Every manager has his plan to try and beat Barcelona. ‘They know us and we know them. ‘Football is unpredictable. But for us this is a cup final and we have to play in that way.’ City were actually well in the game in Spain two weeks ago until goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was sent off.

City have had a run of players sent off against Barcelona in recent years and Guardiola knows it can’t continue. He added: ‘It is always difficult to play against them when it is 11 v 11. ‘If it is 10 v 11 then it’s almost impossible. ‘Sometimes it has been unfair but sometimes it’s our mistake.’ City will be without Bravo today as the former Barca keeper is replaced by Willy Caballero.

Guardiola, meanwhile, refused to take questions on the future of out of favour Yaya Toure. He said: ‘I will not answer. I will not answer.’

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