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Guardiola focus on winning, not possible last 16 opponents
November 22, 2017 / 8:18 AM / 24 days ago

Guardiola focus on winning, not possible last 16 opponents

(Reuters) - Manager Pep Guardiola is calm about Manchester City’s potential opponents in the Champions League knockout stages as the Spaniard is expecting a tough fixture regardless and says the Premier League leaders are only focussed on winning.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Manchester City Press Conference - City Football Academy, Manchester, Britain - November 20, 2017. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola during the press conference. Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

City progressed to the last 16 earlier this month and are top of their group after extending their winning streak to 17 matches across all competitions with a 1-0 win over Feyenoord on Tuesday.

Guardiola’s former teams Barcelona and Bayern Munich are among City’s potential opponents in the next round, with the draw for the knockout stages to be held on Dec. 11.

“We play to win the games and after that we will see how things finish,” Guardiola told reporters after the match.

”It is important that City have got 15 points at this stage for the first time and we are going to go now to Shakhtar to try to finish well and to try to go and win the game.

“In the last 16, it doesn’t matter which one (you get), it always will be complicated.”

Playmaker Kevin de Bruyne will miss City’s final group game at Shakthar Donetsk on Dec. 6 through suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the campaign but Guardiola had no complaints against the Belgian’s booking.

The Manchester side have an eight-point lead at the top of the league and travel to promoted Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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