Champions League: Pep Guardiola counting on domestic cup experience as Manchester City faces Lyon

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Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola is banking on domestic cup success as the club set to face Lyon in the quarter-finals of the Champions League tonight.

This will be the second semi-final in Manchester City’s history after losing the first to Real Madrid in 2016.

The former Bayern Munich tactician will now be banking on the experience the side has garnered from the domestic cups to face the French Ligue 1 side.

This, Guardiola hopes will help his side’ in the one-legged affair in Lisbon. The remaining matches of this season Champions league will be played in Portugal over one leg as opposed to the usual two.

Guardiola believes one leg could favour Man City

This could favour City, having won four League Cups and an FA Cup in the last five campaigns. Speaking at a press conference ahead of the clash, the Spaniard said after playing the first leg, there is an eye on the second.

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“But when we play FA Cup or Carabao Cup we are used to it. There are no second chances – you are either in or out. The approach is very different.”

Pep Guardiola banking on cup experience

It could be recalled that City has won 11 major domestic honours, which include four Premier League trophies since ending a 35-year trophy drought in 2011.

The last four was the closest they reached while trying to win Europe’s top prize in 2016.

Who is available for Pep Guardiola to pick against Lyon?

Having been out of action for some weeks due to a knee injury, Man City will be without Sergio Aguero. The striker had done a knee surgery in June.

They will however have full-back Benjamin Mendy available again after suspension. With the available players, Guardiola remains confident his side are ready for Saturday’s challenge.

“Anything can happen, it is a knockout game, but we are ready,” said the Spaniard.

City reached the last eight after knocking out 13-time winners and recently-crowned Spanish champions Real Madrid 4-2on aggregate in the long-delayed second leg of their last-16 tie last Friday.

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Guardiola on the training ground

They will now battle a Lyon side, who knocked out Serie A champions Juventus. Lyon finished seventh in the curtailed Ligue 1 table this season, but they have shown superb battling qualities to reach the Champions League last eight. Such an attitude was obvious in their last-16 victory over Juventus.

This is their 16th Champions League season, which is four more than any other French club. It is also their fourth in five seasons.

Having reached the last eight four times, Lyon has never won the Champions Lague. Their highest finish was the semi-finals in 2010.

For City to progress, their defenders must keep former Celtic forward Moussa Dembele, who has scored 24 goals this season, and former Manchester United player Depay, at bay.

“We know them quite well. They are so fast and aggressive and upfront, good set-piece. Top team. They are in the quarter-final, we can’t expect an easy game. That is not going to happen,” he added.

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