City buoyant for visit of Moenchengladbach
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City are not yet ready to compete with Europe’s elite but his side will be confident of opening their Champions League campaign with victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Tuesday.
The Spaniard could hardly have started his City reign more impressively with four consecutive Premier League wins and a crushing Champions League playoff defeat of Steaua Bucharest.
But Guardiola, twice a Champions League winner as coach of Barcelona, has quickly moved to dampen expectations.
“Until now, in the Premier League it has been okay -- but to compete against the best clubs in Europe, in this moment with the way we are playing, we are not able to,” Guardiola said.
The comment was all the more surprising as it came after Saturday’s impressive 2-1 victory at Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
Even without top striker Sergio Aguero, who was suspended but will be available on Tuesday, City oozed confidence.
The same cannot be said of Moenchengladbach, who City beat twice in the group phase last season before going on to reach the semifinals for the first time.
The Bundesliga side were beaten 3-1 at SC Freiburg over the weekend, interrupting what had been a bright start to the season for Andre Schubert’s men.
Manchester City strikers Nolito and Kelechi Iheanacho celebrate after the latters goal against Manchester United on Saturday .