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Sunday 19 November 2017

Guardiola not looking beyond Wolves clash

Pep Guardiola. Pic: PA
Pep Guardiola. Pic: PA

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has stressed he is not looking beyond tonight's League Cup fourth-round clash with Wolves, warning that "any team can beat us".

With City having won 12 and drawn the other one of their 13 matches in all competitions so far, there has been plenty of talk about what they might go on to achieve this season.

And the Premier League leaders are certainly expected to make it through the home tie against Championship table-toppers Wolves and into the quarter-finals.

Guardiola is taking nothing for granted, though, and has emphasised the importance of thinking only one game at a time, with a "serious" approach for every fixture.

"The only thing as a manager I said since my career started is think about the next one," he said.

"The next one is Wolves. It doesn't matter where or if they are in the top five or six, any team can beat us.

"Only we can see in every single game, and Tuesday is another game, to try to be so serious and play as good as possible to deserve the respect from our opponents.

"We deserve the respect of opponents when they look at us, when they watch us on TV, on the field, and say 'that team makes a lot of good things'. That is all I want and after we will see.

Analyse

"I am here to win the next one and then next one and arrive in May at the end of the season and say 'how was the season' and analyse what we can do to get better."

Guardiola made eight changes to his starting line-up for the third-round win at West Brom and it is anticipated he will shuffle his pack considerably again tonight. But he has indicated Sergio Aguero may keep his place in the first XI, and it could prove a special night for the Argentina striker.

Another goal for Aguero will see him break City's all-time goalscoring record, having moved alongside Eric Brook on 177 goals at the top of the list with his penalty in Saturday's 3-0 win over Burnley.

The likes of Claudio Bravo, Danilo, Eliaquim Mangala, Ilkay Gundogan and Yaya Toure may come into the side as they did against Albion. There could also be involvement for 20-year-olds Oleksandr Zinchenko and Tosin Adarabioyo.

It remains unclear when Vincent Kompany might return from his latest injury, while Benjamin Mendy (knee) is sidelined long-term.

Meanwhile, City forward Gabriel Jesus is relishing working under "winner" Guardiola having recovered from what he describes as "the worst moment" of his career to date.

"I think the worst moment of my career so far was the injury I had here," he said.

"But it didn't knock me down. I had everybody's support.

"Pep is a winner. I'm very happy to have the opportunity to be coached by a great manager and a great person."

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