Manchester City are preparing to start their UEFA Champions League 23/24 campaign, which is set to begin tomorrow evening, Tuesday the 19th.
And first up for the reigning champions are Red Star Belgrade, from a group that contains RB Leipzig and Young Boys.
Manager Pep Guardiola and Kyle Walker have spoken ahead of this clash in a press conference about all things from unavailable players, captain responsibilities, and the task they have in front of them.
Firstly, Pep has confirmed the absence of Jack Grealish, John Stones, and Mateo Kovacic for tomorrow’s game but hopes they’ll be back soon.
Pep also explained why he believes their presence is needed because of the competition it will add, ” We need the competition. We need Jack (Grealish) to compete with Jeremy Doku; it’s important they both feel they have to play good to be in the squad.”
Moving on from his players, Pep told spectators that he thinks the game against RSB will be a difficult one, “They are competitors. In some moments, they don’t defend man to man, and sometimes they do. We have to be ready. We have to be able to read well.”
The England international started by talking about his responsibilities as a captain of Man City, along with the other chosen names,
” The captain vote has come, and the five have been chosen and will lead the team for the season. The order doesn’t matter; it will be myself, De Bruyne, Rodri, Ruben Dias, and Bernardo.” Showing the importance of a mentality that, despite the order, all five players will lead the team in the best way they can.
To finish the topic of captaincy, Walker expressed his pride in leading the squad, ” The captain’s armband is something I feel honoured and privileged to do.”
Of course, one of the hot topics when interviewing Manchester City players is their thoughts on how they can do this season, after their incredible one last time.
” It’s our job,” the player simply put it, then he followed by, ” We’re at a massive club, and it’s a massive club for a reason.”
” It comes from within, to keep going, and the hunger is still there. We’ve won it all, but to go again and again is what separates good teams from the greats.”