Pep Guardiola says Manchester City’s Champions League clash with Club Brugge is “much more important” than Saturday’s Manchester derby.
Man City need a win over the Belgian side on Wednesday night to boost their chances of reaching the knockouts as they sit second in Group A behind Paris Saint-Germain. Their domestic form hasn’t been at its best this season.
Especially after failing to win a Champions League at Bayern Munich, the former Barcelona manager will be aiming to end his wait for the biggest trophy in European football, after missing out by losing last season’s final versus Chelsea.
Three days later Guardiola’s side travel to Old Trafford, hoping to make amends for last week’s 2-0 defeat in the Premier League at the hands of Crystal Palace.
“This game is much more important than the United game,” Guardiola told the press on Tuesday, as per ESPN. “It would be an incredible step forward to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.
“”In the Premier League there are many games, here just six, now three left. Not much and they are decisive, the third and fourth games. These are the most important games and we need to take it seriously.
“Tomorrow we have a chance, every year is more difficult. It’s just six games, lose more than one or two it’s difficult and we already lost in Paris.”
City also faced elimination from the Carabao Cup after losing to West Ham which does not show the sort of form you want to be taking with you into a Manchester derby, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also finds himself under real pressure to keep his job.
United cannot afford to go into another game against a big rival, only to be humiliated, like the 5-0 defeat against Liverpool almost two weeks ago.
He added: “We make incredible runs, 100 points, 98 points, last season 21 wins in a row. Never at the start I think we win 21 in a row.
“We are focused on winning against Brugge, it depends on doing many good things to give you the chance to win games.
“We are still making mistakes, defensively the back four, the pressing. It’s normal. I saw the game against Brugge and I thought how many bad things we did. After the game I thought how good it was. Offensively we did it.
“I’m pretty sure they will adjust things to punish us. We have to adjust to get better. It’s normal, it will be a completely different game.”
Ultimately, I hope they are putting everything into Wednesday night’s game and completely tire themselves out trying to get the win.
That would be a boost for us at the weekend.