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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Liverpool v Manchester City: Guardiola vows to attack in Uefa Champions League quarter-final first leg

City's only league defeat this season has come against Klopp's team at Anfield.

Pep Guardiola and Kevin De Bruyne speak to the media ahead of the Uefa Champions League quarter-final first leg between Manchester City and Liverpool. Peter Powell / EPA
Pep Guardiola and Kevin De Bruyne speak to the media ahead of the Uefa Champions League quarter-final first leg between Manchester City and Liverpool. Peter Powell / EPA

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola promised to stick by his principles and attack Liverpool in their Uefa Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday, despite admitting he is playing into his opponents' hands.

Liverpool are the only side to beat runaway leaders City in the Premier League this season in a 4-3 thriller at Anfield in January.

The hosts' fearsome front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were all on target that day as part of their combined tally of 75 goals this season.

However, Guardiola's bold brand of attacking football has been accompanied by success everywhere he has gone in a stellar managerial career from Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now at City.

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Read more:

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And he believes that is the best way for City to reach just their second Champions League semi-final, but the eighth in his nine seasons as a top-flight coach.

"I know the way we play is perfect for Liverpool because they are a team that attack the space unlike any other team in the world, especially Mane, Salah, Firmino, they are so good," Guardiola said on Tuesday. "But I feel the best way to win is the way we try to do since we were here."

No opposing manager has beaten Guardiola more times than Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp. In 12 previous meetings, Klopp has six wins to Guardiola's five.

Klopp was keen to play down the significance of that record, but Guardiola hailed their shared spirit to entertain.

"Both teams try to play. We are the teams that scored the most goals in Premier League this season by far," Guardiola said. "I think Jurgen Klopp teams are honest teams that respect what football means. They try to attack and of course we are going to try to (do the same). I'm sure tomorrow is going to be a good game."

City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne described the sides' January meeting as a "crazy game" that was "beautiful for the neutral".

Both sides have been struck by injury problems as City's top scorer Sergio Aguero hasn't travelled with the rest of Guardiola's squad due to a knee problem that has kept the Argentine sidelined for the past month.

Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip will miss the rest of the season with a thigh injury, while Adam Lallana will miss both legs against City due to a hamstring injury suffered in Saturday's 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.

German midfielder Emre Can missed that match and remains a doubt with a back injury.