Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes his side’s Champions League quarter-final with Tottenham is a “50/50” tie.
City have won their last three games against Mauricio Pochettino’s side but Guardiola is taking nothing for granted after yesterday’s draw, which also saw last year’s beaten finalists Liverpool receive arguably the most favourable tie after being paired with Porto.
Any team has its strong points and weak points, the same as us. We must try to discover that.Pep Guardiola
Manchester United face a daunting tie against Barcelona, although caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will enjoy another trip to the Nou Camp, where he scored the winner in United’s Champions League final win over Bayern Munich in 1999.
United were drawn as the away team for the first leg but the tie had to be reversed, with UEFA stipulating in advance following advice from local authorities that they and City could not play at home on successive nights.
United and Liverpool will meet in the semi-finals if they reach the last four, with Tottenham or Manchester City facing the winner of the quarter-final between Ajax and Juventus.
The ties between Liverpool and Porto and Tottenham and Manchester City will be held on April 9 and 17, with the other quarter-finals staged on April 10 and 16.
City won both of their Premier League games with Tottenham last season and also beat Pochettino’s side at Wembley earlier in this campaign. The two teams meet again in the league just days after the second leg.
“We know each other quite well, we have played (Spurs) in the last years many times so we have a lot of respect for them,” said Guardiola. “(They are a) top side, so it’s 50/50.
“Tottenham, huge respect because I know them quite well. They can use different systems, how good they are up front with Son (Heung-min), (Harry) Kane, Dele Alli, with the quality from (Christian) Eriksen. It’s a tough side but any other team in the Champions League would be the same.
“Any team has its strong points and weak points, the same as us. We must try to discover that.”
Tottenham striker Harry Kane said he was looking forward to “two great games”.
“Manchester City are obviously one of the best teams in Europe at the moment so it will be a great test for us,” he said.
“In the quarter-finals of the Champions League you have to expect to play tough teams though, so we will be ready for it.”
“It’s a chance to get to a Champions League semi-final so we will give it everything.”