Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola joked he will field 12 players against Atletico Madrid

April 5th, 2022

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola joked he will field 12 players against Atletico Madrid in response to claims he overthinks Champions League games.

City host the Spanish champions in a quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.

Guardiola has been criticised for his selections in past big games that have seen City knocked out.

“In the Champions League I always overthink,” he said in a response that appeared both part serious and part light-hearted.

In last season’s final against Chelsea, Guardiola notably decided to start without a holding midfielder and his side were well below par in a 1-0 defeat.

But he said: “I always create new tactics and ideas – and tomorrow you will see a new one.

“I overthink a lot, that’s why I have very good results in the Champions League. I love it. It would be boring if I always played the same way.

“If people think I will play the same against Atletico and Liverpool, I don’t think like that because the movements from Liverpool are completely different than Atletico – especially because the players are all different.

“That’s why I love to overthink and create stupid tactics, and when we don’t win I am punished. I will take inspiration and I’m going to do incredible tactics [on Tuesday]. We play with 12!”

‘There’s a misconception about Atletico’s style’

Premier League leaders Manchester City have a crucial game against second-place Liverpool coming up on Sunday.

But Guardiola will not be thinking too far ahead as he looks to keep his side on course for their first Champions League title.

Atletico beat Manchester United in the previous round, producing a dogged performance to see off Ralf Rangnick’s side.

However, Guardiola has refused to be critical of the Spanish side’s style of football under Diego Simeone – and instead praised the quality they possess.

“I’m not going to talk one second about these stupid debates,” he added.

“I think, after watching Atletico, there is a misconception about the way he plays. It’s more offensive than people could believe.

“He doesn’t want to take risks in the build-up but, after, they have quality and play really well in the final third.”


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