Manchester City will face FC Porto in their first game in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday. Before that, City boss Pep Guardiola said that he feels responsible for not being able to take his side beyond last season's European quarter-finals.
City has never won the Champions League. Guardiola has always said that he wants to help his side lift the most coveted European club trophy.
In 2016, Guardiola took over as the manager of the Premier League side. Since then, Man City has failed to advance beyond the quarter-finals of the tournament. Last season, the Sky Blues lost 1-3 against Lyon in a one-legged encounter.
The 49-year old Spaniard said, "Still, right now, I feel responsible watching the game, so we have to accept the reality. Having knocked out Real Madrid in the last 16, they were strong favourites to reach last season's final, but failed to get past French side Lyon in a 'final eight' knockout tournament played in Lisbon amid the coronavirus pandemic. It was a tough moment. I felt so responsible for this: how the club and players fought to achieve it and I was not able to drive them."
Guardiola has the experience of lifting the Champions League trophy twice as the FC Barcelona manager. He seems desperate to repeat such a feat at least once while he is in England.
As far as Man City's game on Wednesday is concerned, defenders Benjamin Mendy and Aymeric Laporte, forward Gabriel Jesus, and midfielder Kevin de Bruyne will be absent. On the other hand, left-back Olek Zinchenko is expected to play.
According to BBC, Guardiola revealed that he expects Kevin and Aymeric to return to the squad in the next few weeks. However, he said that Gabriel might take a little bit longer to recover.
Manchester City has won their last two games against Porto. Both victories came in the 2011-12 Europa League.
This will mark Porto's 21st away game against Premier League opponents in the European tournament. They are yet to win any of their games against English opponents in the Champions League so far. Also, interestingly, the Portuguese champions are yet to win their opening group match in any of their last four Champions League seasons.