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City ready for triumphant Champions League season?

PURSUIT: Stones and Sagna challenge Falcao for the ball

PURSUIT: Stones and Sagna challenge Falcao for the ball

Manchester City face Monaco in what’s likely to be a Champions League thriller this evening and the media can’t wait for kick-off.

City head in to tonight’s clash with the Ligue 1 leaders with a 5-3 advantage following an incredible first leg and ESPN’s Mark Ogden believes Pep Guardiola's side can go much further in the competition.

He scribed: “There is no time like the present and, for all the talk of "projects," few teams can choose the time and place that success is achieved.

“City may be striving towards winning the Champions League under Guardiola, but Leicester City had a three-year plan to secure European football following promotion to the Premier League in 2014 and they managed it in two years, by winning the Premier League.

“So City should regard this season as their best chance of winning the Champions League, because the building blocks are being helped into place by shifting sands elsewhere.

“City simply need to believe in themselves and, with two-time Champions League winner Guardiola at the helm, they will not lack conviction from the top. But there is a belief around Europe that the Manchester club are burdened by an inferiority complex -- an assertion thrown at Guardiola with the first question of the news conference from a French journalist.

“"Complex?" said Guardiola. "Obviously we don't have the long history of other clubs and if we go through tomorrow, it will only be the second time in the club's history that it will be in the quarterfinals.

“"We had a good group stage, showed a lot last year under Manuel [Pellegrini], but I am not thinking about a complex.”

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Meanwhile, Monaco’s two-goal hero in the first leg and leading man, Radamel Falcao, may not feature at the Stade Louis II.

Jerome Pugmire writes for the Daily Mail: “Monaco top scorer Radamel Falcao has not fully recovered from a hip injury and is doubtful for the Champions League game against Manchester City on Wednesday.

“Falcao got of his side's three goals in the first leg of their last 16 contest as Monaco gave up a 3-2 lead to eventually fall 5-3.

“The Colombian striker has seen his recent career hampered by injury problems, including two spells in the Premier League. Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim said Tuesday that he will make a late decision on whether to risk his star man.”

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Finally, there’s still a sprinkling of transfer news despite the big game and City have been linked with a defender from Italian giants Napoli.

Daily Express’ Joe Short speculates: “Manchester City are reportedly ready to agree a deal with Napoli for defender Faouzi Ghoulam, who has also been monitored by Arsenal.

“His current deal expires in the summer of 2018, meaning Napoli face losing him on a free transfer unless they sell him.

“Arsenal scouts were sent to a Serie A game last month as they monitor the French-Algerian’s situation.

“But City hope they can wrap up a deal well before the summer transfer window officially opens.”

That’s all for today’s media round-up! We’ll have plenty of build-up and coverage of Monaco v Manchester City this evening on mancity.com!

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PRESS CONFERENCE: Bacary Sagna addresses the media ahead of Monaco v City

Bacary Sagna expects another exciting contest when Man City and Monaco lock horns again in the Champions League.

The two sides played out a thrilling first leg clash, which saw the Blues victorious with a 5-3 win.