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Guardiola eyeing top spot in Champions League group

Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to confirm their place in the Champions League knockout rounds as group winners this week.

The holders take on RB Leipzig at the Etihad on Tuesday evening, with both sides already assured of their place in the last 16. City have won all four games in this season’s competition, including a 3-1 win against this week’s opponents in Germany, and can wrap up top spot if the club avoid defeat to the Bundesliga side.

 

Guardiola wants his side to seal progress as group winners and earn the advantage of having their last-16 second leg on home soil. The Citizens are unbeaten at the Etihad in 2023, having won 23 and drawn one of their 24 fixtures at the venue this calendar year.

That run includes a 7-0 thrashing of Leipzig in last season’s competition, a fixture that saw Erling Haaland become just the third player to score five goals in a Champions League game.

“We have to win or draw,” said Guardiola at his pre-match press conference.

“The first step is done for both sides so congratulations to RB Leipzig to qualify for the next round in February.

“It is important to finish first. We believe that when we play the last 16, [having] the second leg at home is not decisive but an advantage and we have to take it.”

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