Pep Guardiola has warned his Manchester City players they cannot afford to underestimate Champions League opponents Borussia Monchengladbach.
City earned the favourable draw with the Bundesliga side today in the round of 16, avoiding heavyweights including Guardiola’s former club Barcelona.
But Guardiola said he is aware of Monchengladbach’s strength from his time in charge of Bayern Munich and said City will have to be in their best possible shape, tactically and physically, if they are to make the quarter-finals for the fourth year running.
“I learned in Germany how big and important and historic they are,” said Guardiola. “It’s a club that I respect a lot, they have the beauty of playing football.
“They went through a tough group, and made an incredible couple of games against Shakhtar Donetsk after they’d beaten Real Madrid.
“We have to arrive in the best condition possible. I’ve seen the highlights, not much of them properly, but we’ll start to work on it [nearer the time].
“But we know for the last 16 it’s about arriving in the best condition possible to go through.”
City sporting director Txiki Begiristain echoed Guardiola and said: “You know how difficult it is to get there and you can see other clubs who are here in this draw, they suffered to get there.
“The top teams in Germany play that box-to-box game, attacking football, quite open games – and we like open games.
“We have to be better than them in both boxes – you have to be good at defending and attacking.
“But I like to play against German clubs because the football we can give to the spectators, to people in their homes, is going to be great.”