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Man City vs RB Leipzig Preview.


Image via mancity.com


Man City take on RB Leipzig away in their final UEFA Champions Group A fixture. Having already secured progression into the round of 16 has significantly lowered the pressure of this tie and gives room for more rotations and for youngsters to get into the mix.


Unfortunately Manchester City vs RB Leipzig will be held behind closed doors after the German state of Saxony was placed into a partial COVID-19 lockdown.


Speaking to the press ahead of this clash Zinchenko gave his thoughts on the match being held without fans saying it’s sad news while also reiterating health is the most important thing.

"It's sad news for both teams. For all football fans, for the players as well. We play for the fans but the most important thing is the health. I wish everyone is going to have good health."

Zinchenko also spoke on what approach Man said will use when they take on Leipzig while also sharing his thoughts on competition for places in the City squad.

"We want to continue the run, it's a good achievement to go through in first place. We are going to show our best performance, our rhythm."
"So important to have these kind of players. We have a long squad, everyone is working hard, waiting for the chance. Showing their best. We are lucky to have some of the best players in the world. We want to achieve something."

Zinchenko shared his thoughts on Man City’s 7 game win streak.

"It's always nice to have this winning run. It doesn't matter which competition we're in, we're always trying to show our best performance. Only this season, we're happy with the position we are in. Still a long way to go and I don't know what's going to happen."

Zinchenko also spoke on Bernardo Silva’s current run of form stating he only wishes Bernardo can keep this form going till the season ends for the benefit of the team,

"We are so lucky to have him, such a good player. He's always working hard. I wish he can continue this until the end of the season and help the team."

Zinchenko also shed light on the Full-back role, his attitude despite not playing and competition with Cancelo saying that's all down to the manager.

"It depends on the game, the opponent. Whatever the manager says, we try to do our best. It depends what team we face"
"We have a long squad, everyone deserve to play. All the season, we have to respect every decision from the manager and each other. We have to fight for your place, work for your chance, when you get it you have to give 100 percent."
"I'm here for fifth season, I was in all the positions. The only thing I know is to be successful you need to work hard. Everyone is fighting, working hard. You have to give everything to say in the end to yourself you've done your best. If you deserve, you play, if you didn't, you didn't do enough."

With Man City already securing top spot and progression into the UCL’s round of 16 Pep Guardiola was asked about rotation and the inclusion of youngsters with him confirming 5 youngsters will be traveling with the first team. Pep also stated how important these youngsters are to the team especially with the amount of injuries the team has suffered lately.

"They travel with us, four or five of them. Tomorrow we decide."
"We have a lot of injuries, we need them in training. Romeo is training with us. The other guys. Normally when they play in the second team they play with us. But in the last game vs Leeds Macca and Cole were with them. It depends on the schedule and the condition of the first team. Now we have just Ferran [Torres] injured."
"Gabriel won't travel to Germany for the orange yellow card he got in the last game has a problem so that's why he's not fit to play tomorrow. The rest are fit to travel and play."
"They are 18, 19. You have everything ahead of you. The potential they have, they are fantastic young players. They need to settle perfectly how we behave. The potential is there."

Pep Guardiola also shared his take on Man City vs Leipzig being held behind closed doors.

"The concern in Germany is the situation isn't good. We have to learn the rest of the world, the situation is not solved. Still like the Prime Minister says, masks and distance, and be careful. It's there, that's my concern."
"We would love to play with the people. Authorities in Germany decide we play behind closed doors. No [it doesn't change the preparations]."

Pep Guardiola also confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne will feature and start the game against Leipzig making his return to the team after recovering from COVID.

"Kevin had the corona, was growing his condition and after had the setback. It's normal, the people who have the corona the next days feel so empty. Step by step he plays the first team minutes, tomorrow he will start and we'll see how many minutes he can play."

Pep Guardiola also spoke on the importance of Kevin De Bruyne’s return to the team and what he needs to do to regain his place in the team.

"Kevin played the season from the beginning. Arrived from Euros and last season not good conditions and then corona. We've got him back, fight for a position like everyone."
"He doesn't have to show me anything, just to show he's back and himself. Do what he can do for the last five years. He's so necessary for the team."
"Bernardo and Gundogan know it, you have to be good for 90 minutes. I know all of them, they don't have to show me anything, they have to show for themselves."

People Guardiola shared his thoughts on his team's 7 game win streak and the importance of maintaining this form and the need to improve.

"Of course, all the guys who play tomorrow want to win. For respect for the competition, for Leipzig and Brugge and PSG. Every game is a good opportunity to improve. Many things we can do better."
"I know exactly which ones. The players will know it. Tomorrow is another one for the things to do well we've practiced, to make more natural, more flow. It's an incredible opportunity in the Champions League. Prestigious for the club."

Pep Guardiola also spoke on the futures of Man City’s youth stating that their futures lie at the club and loans aren't necessary their needed here and how their current environment in around the first team is competitive enough and helping with their development.

"They'll stay here. We don't have loans and we need them."
"Development at the moment is to show they can play every week. After see which manager is there. We try to let them improve in the way we believe."
"As manager maybe they should go, go the way they want to play. They can do it in the second team but they aren't strong enough in the competition to make the step."
"They are training with the first team, the competition is so high, the quality the rhythm. That's why it's good to stay with us."

Pep also commented on the talk of English dominance in the UEFA Champions League stating that England would need to a few more years of success in the competition to assert this claim.

"Spain was one decade [of dominance], so more years to show that. The last years the latter stages we were there. What Liverpool, United, Chelsea have done. All four have qualified and it's a success for the PL."