Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits he is fearful of facing Monaco – and his side’s chances of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.
City host Ligue 1 leaders Monaco in their last-16 first leg clash on Tuesday. The visitors have eclipsed Paris Saint-Germain, who ruthlessly thrashed the mighty Barcelona last week, domestically this season.
Les Monegasques have scored 76 goals in 26 league games this term and twice beat Tottenham in the competition’s group stages earlier in the campaign, achievements which have left Guardiola edgy.
“I am really impressed how good they are,” said Guardiola. “The full-backs play like wingers, the wingers play like attacking midfielders. The two strikers are fighters – [Radamel] Falcao and [Valere] Germain, they are killers in the box.
“A complete team. It is the most successful team in Europe in terms of scoring goals and a tough draw. I am looking forward to playing against them and seeing what our level is.”
Guardiola has not failed to reach the Champions League last four in seven attempts, and has urged his side, who were semi-finalists last season under Manuel Pellegrini, to embrace the pressure of knockout football.
“All of Europe will watch us, to analyse us, to kill us if we don’t win or say how good we are if we do,” added the Spaniard. “[But] I want to convince the players to enjoy that moment.”