Borussia Monchengladbach would need something “more than extraordinary” to beat Manchester City in the Champions League last 16, boss Marco Rose said.
Gladbach have lost their last six games, including a 2-0 defeat in the first leg against Pep Guardiola’s City.
Both legs are at the Puskas Arena in Budapest because of Covid restrictions.
“It would be more than extraordinary, it would be a sensation,” said Rose, who is taking over at Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season.
“Pep has them playing almost Total Football.”
He had to back down after suggesting he would prefer a full week of training to playing in the game.
“We don’t want to give the impression that this is a friendly. It’s a Champions League game where we have a chance of reaching the next round, but we have to be realistic,” Rose said.
“We want to put in a good performance and then come home and concentrate on our essential tasks.
“Of course the City game is important to us. On the other hand, if I had said that I have full confidence that we can go there and turn it around, then everyone would have shaken their head and said Rose has lost his marbles.”
Raheem Sterling is back in City’s squad after being rested for their Premier League win over Fulham at the weekend.
Sterling tweeted to deny the decision to leave him out led to a disagreement with Guardiola.
“He doesn’t need to do it,” Guardiola said. “Nothing happened. He was not selected, that’s all.
“When you have 20 top-class players, it will always be unfair for some of them. I love them, they are the main reason why we are in the position.
“Raheem has been so important for the team and all of us.”