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“I don’t fear them” – Pep Guardiola sends Manchester City squad warning for Real Madrid showdown



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed a lack of fear ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Real Madrid in the Champions League last-eight.

The Premier League leaders host La Liga leaders and 14-time winners of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening at the Etihad Stadium, as Manchester City bid to knockout Real Madrid for the second consecutive season.

Manchester City thumped Real Madrid 5-1 as part of a maiden Champions League triumph last season, and head into Wednesday’s second-leg clash unbeaten since early December, and unbeaten in Europe since May 2022.

The two footballing heavyweights played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in the first-leg at the Santiago Bernabéu last week, as second-half goals from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol saw the Cityzens establish a 2-3 lead, before Federico Valverde’s 79th minute equaliser.

City, who have never lost at home to Real Madrid, are bidding to reach the last-four of the competition for a fourth successive season, with a win in midweek.

The rivalry between Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid extends beyond his time at the Etihad Stadium, and speaking ahead of Wednesday’s return leg, Guardiola discussed the prospect of facing the Spanish side.

“It’s special for me. But this doesn’t count. What counts is what we have to do tomorrow. We have to adjust something that we didn’t do good in Bernabeu, we have to perform a little bit better, we will talk about that and go for it,” said the 53-year-old.

“I don’t fear them, I’ve faced them many times, I respect Real Madrid. If I said I’m scared of them, it would be false. Believe what you want when I speak, but I respect Real Madrid.”

Manchester City’s treble credentials will face a stern test over the next week, with an Emirates FA Cup semi-final to follow Wednesday’s second-leg against Real Madrid.

The Sky Blues then face quick-fire Premier League games against Brighton and Nottingham Forest.