Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur - Guardiola demands vocal support from City fans

Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2019 by PA

Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur - Guardiola demands vocal support from City fans

Pep Guardiola wants to hear a packed Etihad Stadium in full voice as Manchester City bid to turn around their Champions League quarter-final against Tottenham.

City trail 1-0 on aggregate heading into Wednesday’s second leg after suffering defeat in London last week.

Guardiola would like fans to replicate the atmosphere from their raucous victory over Premier League title rivals Liverpool in January.

“The Liverpool game would be enough for me, a little bit better,” said City boss Guardiola. “We need it.

“Do it for the guys – the last 20 months, they are so proud with what they have done but they are human beings. They will have bad moments in the games and at that moment we need our supporters.

“At this stage, without supporters, we cannot go through. I’m expecting.

“I’m really curious to see how our fans are going to react tomorrow, really curious.”

Guardiola alluded to his own perceived failings in the competition as he attempted to communicate directly to supporters at his pre-match press conference.

He twice guided Barcelona to Champions League glory but was unable to repeat that at Bayern Munich and is yet to reach the semi-finals with City.

He said: “Sorry guys, I’m a failure in this competition but many times I played in the semi-final and quarter-finals, and every time I played away the atmosphere was really incredible. They support their local teams.

“We need it. Really, we need it. I want to see that they want to get to the semi-finals. Not the players, the players no doubt after 20 months.

“I want to see my fans, our fans, that they really want the semi-finals. I want to see that tomorrow.”

Midfielder Fernandinho is hoping to prove his fitness after missing Sunday’s victory at Crystal Palace with a muscular problem. Left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko (hamstring) is unlikely to feature but forwards Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling are fit despite minor concerns.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says City are still favourites to win the Champions League, despite his side’s first-leg advantage.

“Manchester City for me is one of the best teams in the world and a clear favourite to win the Premier League and the Champions League,” he said.

“For us to beat them in the first leg was an amazing result but we know very well the tie is still open and tomorrow is going to be very, very tough.

“But we have the belief that we are going to fight. Tomorrow is going to be an amazing challenge and fight. I am so motivated and excited.”

If Spurs can get the job done on Wednesday they would be qualify for the semi-final of the Champions League for the first time in their history.

That would be an impressive run given they had just one point midway through the group stage and Pochettino is proud of his side’s effort in this competition.

He said: “We are going to be more than proud of our run in the Champions League and try and arrive in the semi-final and challenge a team like Man City.

“Whatever happens tomorrow happens, we are going to be proud of our run in the Champions League. But that doesn’t mean we are not going to fight.”

Spurs have mixed injury news as, in addition to Harry Kane’s absence with an ankle injury, Harry Winks is also not fit having picked up a groin injury in training last week.

Dele Alli, who suffered a broken hand in last week’s first leg, has travelled with the squad and trained with a cast on.

Pochettino added: “We need to assess him. We are going to have the last training session and then decide if (he) starts from the beginning or on the bench. We are going to assess him.”

Erik Lamela has also travelled after a hamstring injury, but Eric Dier (hip) and Serge Aurier (hamstring) miss out.

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