Pep Guardiola has warned that Manchester City want to impose their game when they meet Real Madrid in their postponed Champions League match this evening, believing his side are ready to face the 13-time champions.
City host Zinedine Zidane’s team in the second leg of their last-16 tie, leading 2-1 after their win in the Bernabeu in February.
Guardiola’s side lost their Premier League crown to Liverpool but have a chance to finish the coronavirus-interrupted season by becoming European champions for the first time.
“We want to play our own game,” the City boss said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“We want to impose our own style on the game, whether we’re defending or playing on the counter-attack or whether Madrid are countering.
“What we want to try and do is take the game to certain areas of the field where we can hurt Real Madrid, where we can show the qualities of our players.”
He added: “I had the feeling now, today, that we are ready to play the game on Friday and do a good performance and win the game,” he said. “That’s my feeling, we are ready.”
But Guardiola warned that it was vital for his side to cut out the defensive mistakes that have hurt his side this season.
“More than conceding the goals, it’s the way that we conceded the goals,” he said. “When they are brilliant and make a good action we have to accept it.
“But for most of them it was goals that could have been avoided. We have to avoid it. Making mistakes in this competition punishes you a lot.”
Guardiola revealed defender Eric Garcia has turned down the offer of a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium.
The highly rated 19-year-old centre-back has been linked with a return to his boyhood club Barcelona.
“He told us he doesn’t want to extend his contract with Manchester City,” said Guardiola. “He has one more year then after that he doesn’t want to extend.
“We want it but he doesn’t want to extend the contract. I imagine he wants to play in another place.”
Real Madrid Manager Zinedine Zidane named 24 players on Wednesday for the trip to Manchester, where Madrid are aiming to overturn the 2-1 first-leg defeat to reach the quarter-finals.
Zidane left out Welshman Gareth Bale even as suspended Sergio Ramos traveled with the squad.
Bale, 31, has had a turbulent season, hardly featured for Madrid this year.
Despite Madrid storming to the La Liga title, Bale made only two appearances during the 11 games after La Liga resumed, one of them from the start.
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