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Media Watch: Press intrigued by UCL test

BLUE v RED: City host Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals, needing to overcome a three-goal deficit

BLUE v RED: City host Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals, needing to overcome a three-goal deficit

With every new week, there comes a new challenge and City’s next test will be a difficult one to pass.

The Blues host Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-final second leg on Tuesday night, needing to overturn a three-goal deficit and without the comfort of an away goal.

It’s a tough ask but so impressive have Pep Guardiola’s men been this season, the footballing world are yet to write off our chances of progression and are intrigued by how both sides will approach the encounter.

Even Liverpool themselves are wary of what would be one of the most sensational comebacks in European football.

Former Blue James Milner is of that opinion and asserts his side will have to be at their best defensively to prevent such.

As the Manchester Evening News report, he told press: "They are a top team – we know that.

"There are a lot of things which could affect it but we are in a good position.

"But we know it is not over yet as they are a special team and good going forward, and we have to be ready to defend well and hopefully get a goal.

"They are such a good team and have such good players going forward, we want to approach it as we approach every game, try and win the game and approach it as a one-off and play the match over 90 minutes.

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"We've got a 3-0 advantage at half-time so it's down to us not to sit back and be on the front foot."

Georginio Wijnaldum echoed his teammate’s sentiments, as did Virgil Van Dijk.

Quoted in the Mirror, Wijnaldum agreed: "We are not going to sit back. We are going to play our game. That is what we always do.

"Of course, we know that we are not already in the next round – we first have to play the game.

"We know how strong they are, especially when they play at home, but they have to think about us too and where we are strong.

"It's going to be a nice game I think. We are excited that we won 3-0 but of course we know that we are not in the next round.

"We know that we have to fight for it again and that is what we are going to do."

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Van Dijk commented: “We are going to discuss it over the next couple of days but I think we need to do our own thing.

“We don’t need to go there and think we need to defend – we just need to play our game as we did in the first half against them.

“It’s going to be a very hard game but I’m looking forward to it.”

As is the case across the board, Match of the Day pundits Matthew Upson and Jermaine Jenas are fascinated to discover the tactics Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp will employ to gain the best chance of advancing to the semi-finals.

Upson anticipates a strong reaction from the Blues, following the Anfield set-back and weekend Manchester Derby disappointment.

He stated: “City at the moment are like a wounded animal and I think it makes them more dangerous.

“They have nothing to lose in this tie and sometimes, that can play in your favour and I expect the team to come out with full belief and full commitment.”

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Jenas expects an entertaining contest. He added: “It’s the only way both teams know how to play and that’s why it’s so amazing and why I can’t wait to see this game.

“When I think back to City performances this season and you think about the type of team he’s going to set up, it’s going to be – not wide open – but very attacking. The first 20 minutes will be so important.”

In other news, it’s claimed City and United are set to do battle once again – this time, for the signature of midfielder Fred.

According to the Mirror’s John Cross: “Brazil star Fred is set to move to Manchester this summer - with City and United scrapping it out for the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder.

“Manchester City made enquiries about Fred in the January window and have been strongly linked with a summer move for the Brazil international.

“It now seems certain he will move to the Premier League with Manchester his most likely option and his advisor, former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has confirmed he wants to move to England.

“Shakhtar’s valuation could be a sticking point with the auction likely to go over £50m and City have been making it clear they will not pay over what they see as a fair valuation.

“Arsenal have also been interested but the price tag is likely to put them out of the running, despite the connection with Gilberto.

“Fred caught City’s eye in the Champions League this season and they are looking to strengthen their squad with competition and back up for Fernandinho.”

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