Manchester City are preparing for their biggest game of the season so far, as they face Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday night.
Pep Guardiola’s men are aiming to reach their first ever final in Europe’s elite competition, and will have to overcome his former club, who are the defending champions and have won their last seven matches in all competitions.
The City squad trained at the CFA on Tuesday morning, under blue skies and warm sunshine. The intensity and focus of the players was evident, as they worked on various drills and exercises to fine-tune their tactics and skills for the clash with the German giants.
Among the players who took part in the session were Phil Foden, who returned to training after missing the last two games with a minor injury, Jack Grealish, who scored his first goal for City in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, and Erling Haaland, who has been in sensational form since joining from Borussia Dortmund in January, netting 45 goals in 46 appearances for City.
Guardiola also had a full complement of defenders to choose from, with John Stones back from suspension, Aymeric Laporte fit again after a muscle problem, and Nathan Ake available after being recalled from his loan spell at Coventry.
The only absentee was Benjamin Mendy, who is still recovering from a knee injury.
The manager spoke to the media ahead of the training session, and expressed his admiration for Bayern and their coach Hansi Flick, who will leave his post at the end of the season.
Guardiola said: “They are an extraordinary team. They have everything: experience, quality, mentality. They are the best team in Europe right now. Hansi has done an incredible job.
He is a friend of mine and I wish him all the best for his future.”.
However, Guardiola also insisted that his team are ready for the challenge and have nothing to fear. He said: “We have a lot of confidence in ourselves.
We have been playing well and we have shown our character in difficult moments. We have a dream to be in the final and we will fight for it. We know it will be tough, but we are not afraid.
We are here to enjoy and to win.”.
The first leg will kick off at 8pm BST at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night, and will be broadcast live on BT Sport in the UK. The second leg will take place at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday 2 May.
Final Thoughts: Man City’s Confidence and Focus Ahead of Bayern Clash
Manchester City’s preparation for their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich seems to be in full swing, with the squad training under sunny skies and a positive atmosphere at the CFA.
The return of Phil Foden from injury and the availability of key defenders will undoubtedly boost City’s chances against the defending champions.
Pep Guardiola’s acknowledgement of Bayern’s strengths and the remarkable job done by his friend and counterpart Hansi Flick highlights the respect he has for his former club.
However, the manager’s confidence and belief in his team cannot be understated, with Guardiola insisting that City are ready to face the challenge and fight for their dream of reaching the final.
It is evident that the players are focused and determined to give their best against a team that has been in excellent form, winning their last seven matches in all competitions.
The intensity and energy on display during the training session bodes well for the Cityzens, who will look to capitalize on their home advantage in the first leg.
Despite the tough task ahead, it is clear that City have nothing to fear, as they have shown their character in difficult moments throughout the season.
The clash against Bayern promises to be an exciting encounter between two teams with quality and experience, but it is City’s confidence and focus that may give them the edge in this crucial tie.
Overall, the preparations and mindset of Manchester City ahead of their crucial semi-final clash against Bayern Munich are positive and encouraging. The team’s confidence, focus, and determination to win the game and achieve their dream of reaching the final are evident, and they will be hoping to put in a memorable performance in front of their fans at the Etihad Stadium.