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Guardiola: It’s always tough against Shakhtar

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Pep Guardiola says City’s opening Champions’ League Group C tie away at Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday will be a demanding challenge.

It’s the third successive season we have been pitted against the Ukrainians with Shakhtar winning 2-1 in Kharkiv two seasons ago and City emerging 3-0 victors at the Metalist Stadium 12 months ago.

And at his pre-match press conference ahead of the game, where Oleks Zinchenko also answered questions, the City boss spoke of his admiration for our opponents and the importance of the opening group game.

“I have a lot of respect for this club,” said Guardiola. “Every time I play against Shakhtar, the way they play is quite similar. It’s always tough.

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"With (former manager Paulo) Fonseca last season, it was one of the most well organised 4-4-2 teams I’ve seen, no space between the lines. It’s quite similar now.

The build-up is always good passing between the lines. They have a lot of quality, incredible on the counter-attack. Hopefully we can play a good rhythm.

“The first game in the Champions League is so important. If we can win the first game away it’s a big step because at home, we are a strong team. It’s a short competition, six games, you have to be careful.”

Play the video to watch the press conference in full...