Manchester City vs Marseille review: Pep guarantees solid side for bunch stage final

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Manchester City vs Marseille review: Pep guarantees solid side for bunch stage final

Pep Guardiola has no goal of taking things simple this evening when Manchester City have Marseille in the Champions League — in spite of having just won Group C.

City made sure about best position after a week ago’s goalless attract Porto, inciting theory that vital participants could be refreshed for the gathering finale in front of Saturday’s Manchester derby.

In any case, Guardiola, 49, demands a solid side will take to the field at the Etihad.

The Spaniard (pictured above) said: “I don’t rest players. I don’t say to my players, ‘Don’t play here because I’m thinking of the other games’. I don’t do that.

“Against Porto we played to qualify and we were awesome. The team that will play can all play against United as far as I’m concerned.

“I want to win — it’s not about the match or having one more day or one less day.

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“Only afterwards, on Thursday and Friday, we start to think about against United.”

Although City have nothing other than pride resting on the outcome, Marseille desperately need a result as they chase a Europa League berth.

Level on points with Olympiacos but with an inferior head-to-head record, the French side can only steal third spot if they better any result achieved by the Greeks, who host second-placed Porto in Athens.

Visiting boss Andre Villas-Boas, 43, lifted the Europa League with Porto back in 2011 and the ex-Chelsea and Tottenham manager will be relishing the prospect of another tilt at that trophy.

Should Guardiola stay true to his word this evening, both Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake could return in defence after spells on the sidelines.

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Sergio Aguero is not yet fit enough to start so Gabriel Jesus is likely to continue in attack, while young midfielder Tommy Doyle could be in line for a rare appearance.

Nemanja Radonjic misses out for Marseille with a thigh problem but Leonardo Balerdi has completed a suspension and should return.

Did you know?

Marseille have just won one of their past 12 away games against English sides in European rivalry.

City have now kept a perfect sheet in four successive Champions League matches. The last side to record at least five shut-outs in succession in the opposition was Juventus in 2016-17.

The guests have lost their last seven away games in the Champions League.

Yawasport

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