Guardiola aware of European expectations
Pep Guardiola accepts some observers will consider this season a failure if Manchester City don’t win the Champions League.
City won the Premier League at a canter last season and lead the way domestically after 13 games this term with a two-point advantage over nearest challengers Liverpool.
Guardiola’s men fell short in Europe last year as they were dumped out in the quarter-finals by the Reds and have some work to do to qualify from Group F ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Lyon as they have nine points from a possible 12 so far.
City can secure their progress with a game to spare if they avoid defeat in France, but Guardiola is aware some will see it as a failure if they don’t go all the way in the tournament.
‘For the people who don’t love us too much, who use money as an argument, then we have failed if we don’t win the Champions League,’ said the Catalan coach.
‘For the others, especially our fans who say they enjoy watching our games and enjoy what we are doing, I’m pretty sure they won’t have regrets about what these guys have been doing every three days for the last 15 months.
‘That is the best compliment, the best success the team can have. But, of course, we want to qualify, continue our level in the Premier League and arrive in the best possible condition with everybody fit to challenge again to go quite far.
‘After that, the competition speaks for itself. We can have a lot of desire and wishes but the competition is so tough.’
Man City are the current favourites to win the Champions League outright and punters may wish to use their free bet to back Guardiola’s men to land the trophy for the first time in their history this season.