Manchester City could go one step closer to securing their place in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League with a win over Greek Super League champions Olympiacos.
City have won their first two group stage games, opening with a 3-1 win over Porto followed by a 3-0 away win against Marseille. City have never not gotten out of the group stages under Pep Guardiola and in his pre-match press conference, the Spaniard explained just how difficult it is to get out of the group stages of the Champions League compared to 10 years ago.
“The teams are better, there is more money everywhere,” Guardiola said. “A lot of clubs are buying players and important managers.
“It is really tough. It doesn’t matter where you go, you know you have to face quality. Yeah, it’s difficult in the group stages of the Champions League, people don’t believe it,” he said.
“Every game is hard. And with the pandemic, the situation is more uncertain.
“Today when you play away or at home, you have to do a good game to win. It’s a tricky competition. That’s why I am delighted with what we have done so far. This is the target.
“People say ‘oh it’s easy’ but everything can happen. Porto is a team that always has to win. Olympiakos the same. They have to win every single game. That mentality is difficult to play against.
“Focus on the next game and tomorrow is a huge opportunity for us to make an incredible step.”
How Will Manchester City Keep Going Without Aguero
Manchester City will continue to be without Sergio Aguero who suffered a hamstring injury against West Ham in late October with Pep Guardiola telling the media he doesn’t know when Aguero will be back with the Argentine suffering a multitude of injuries over the last few months.
“Right now, I don’t know [exactly when he will return],” Guardiola said. “He’s getting better, but I don’t know.
“We don’t want him to have a setback but he’s getting better.
“I don’t know about Liverpool, but I think after the international break he will be ready.”
On the availability of Jesus, Guardiola said: “It’s too early to know. He did one training session with the team. We’re happy he is back.”
Manchester City Odds v Olympiacos for Matchday Three
It’s a big week for Manchester City who after their game against Olympiacos, take on Liverpool in their biggest game of the season. City haven’t been themselves this season and already find themselves five points behind Liverpool with just seven games played this season (City have a game in hand).
A win against Olympiacos could set City up perfectly for their heavyweight match-up against the champions and I’m predicting a 2-0 win on Tuesday evening for the Group C leaders.
Sportsbooks odds on a City win open at -550. Odds on an Olympiacos win open at +1400. Odds on a draw between the two sides open at +600.