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"THE HARMONY RIGHT NOW IS EXCEPTIONAL" | Pep Guardiola | Sporting v Man City | Champions League

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Pep Guardiola addressed the media ahead of City's Champions League clash against Sporting CP.
City return to European action with a two-legged tie against the Portuguese outfit.

Pep Guardiola’s men travel to the Primeira Liga side for the first leg on Tuesday 15 February in a 20:00 (UK) kick-off at the José Alvalade Stadium.

Jack Grealish has not recovered from the injury which ruled him out of Manchester City’s win over Norwich City and will miss Tuesday’s Champions League game against Sporting.

The midfielder was side-lined with a shin problem for the 4-0 win at Carrow Road and, whilst his condition has improved, he will not be ready for the trip to Portugal.

Gabriel Jesus and Cole Palmer are also unavailable for the first leg of our last 16 tie, with neither player recovering from the injuries which have kept them out in recent weeks.

“He is better, but for tomorrow he is not available alongside Cole Palmer and Gabriel,” Pep Guardiola confirmed when asked about Grealish at his pre-match press conference.

City travel to Lisbon on the back of a superb run of form, having won 18 of our last 20 games in all competitions, with our only defeat coming against Leipzig in our final Champions League group stage after qualification to the last 16 was already confirmed.

Guardiola admits City’s confidence is high after amid such an impressive sequence of results, and, crucially for him, so too is the harmony amongst the group.

The Catalan acknowledged that competition for places can make difficult to maintain a harmonious atmosphere, but praised the attitude of his players and, in particular, team’s leadership group for creating an excellent team spirit which he feels is as good as it’s been during his time in charge.

“The main target is to have an incredible harmony,” he added.

“The harmony right now is exceptional. Thanks to the captains and for many reasons.

“Always, we have had a good harmony in the team. Otherwise we would not have won what we have won.

“When new players arrive, there is time to settle. I’ve never had problems being with the team.

“Right now in the season, what I am fighting for every single minute is to have a good relationship, respect each other and fight for the position.

“In football, the most difficult thing is that every day they are enemies because they fight for one position in the team and after they have to be brothers in the game.

“That is not easy to handle. That is why there can be problems, because everyone wants to play, but if they have the respect for each other, the rest is easy.”


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