"We Want to Hurt Real Madrid" - Pep Guardiola Reveals Manchester City’s Aggressive Plan for Carlo Ancelotti

In just a few hours, the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals will take place. Among the most anticipated fixtures is Real Madrid hosting Manchester City tomorrow at the Santiago Bernabeu. While both teams will be looking to secure the result in their favor, Pep Guardiola has declared his intention to do more than just win; he aims to 'punish' Carlo Ancelotti and Co.

Pep Guardiola

Speaking at the pre-match press conference and as reported by The Athletic correspondent, Sam Lee, the manager stated, “We cannot come here just to control the game; we have to hurt Real Madrid, to punish them, to try to score goals.” It appears Guardiola is preparing his side for more than simply maintaining possession against Los Blancos tomorrow. City will aim to score goals, a tactic that will significantly benefit the English side.

With the Sky Blues playing their away fixture, winning the game with a substantial goal difference will bolster their advantage for the return leg at the Etihad Stadium. However, it remains to be seen if they will be able to dominate the home side in front of thousands of Madridistas, who will be fervently cheering for their team. Additionally, previous results that City has produced at the Bernabeu have been contrary to what Guardiola aims to do tomorrow.

In the 2022 campaign, while City dominated the home fixture with a 4-3 win, they lost the away fixture 3-1, with Madrid advancing to the finals. Likewise, the following year saw them being held by the La Liga side at the Bernabeu 1-1, but they did win the return leg 4-0 to later lift the trophy. However, they did clinch a 2-1 victory against Ancelotti’s side in Spain during the 2020 campaign. While Guardiola will be keen to assert dominance tomorrow, he faces a major setback.

Pep Guardiola suffers a major defensive blow ahead of Manchester City vs Real Madrid.

According to the latest injury reports, Pep Guardiola won’t be able to deploy Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake against Real Madrid tomorrow. Both defenders haven’t traveled with the squad and will be nursing their injuries as they have been deemed unfit for the crucial face-off. Notably, doubts remained in the air regarding the availability of center-back Josko Gvardiol. So, is he available now?

Luckily, the Croatian defender, who earlier sustained a knock on his ankle, has been given the green light to catch the flight to the Spanish capital at the eleventh hour. The rest of the star players are fit and ready to face the La Liga giants in tomorrow’s match. Either way, it will be interesting to see how Guardiola manages the absence of Walker and Ake, considering the optimism he displayed to dominate against Real Madrid.