Guardiola happy to lean on former Dortmund players' knowledge ahead of Champions League clash

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Pep Guardiola is happy to lean on the knowledge of Manchester City's former Borussia Dortmund players ahead of Wednesday's Champions League meeting with the Bundesliga club.

Dortmund head to Etihad Stadium for their fifth meeting with City in the Champions League.

The clubs previously faced each other in the 2012-13 group stage and the quarter-finals in the 2020-21 campaign. City have won three of those matches, with the other one finishing as a draw.

Ilkay Gundogan, Sergio Gomez, Erling Haaland and Manuel Akanji have all spent chunks of their career at Dortmund, with the latter two having signed for City from the German side earlier this year.

Akanji made his City debut in the 4-0 thrashing of Sevilla last week, a game in which Haaland scored twice, taking his tally for the season to 12 goals from seven appearances in all competitions.

Asked in a press conference if Haaland was excited about facing his former side, Guardiola said: "We spoke in general. Not [a] special [conversation]. Of course, we spoke about some of their players, what he thinks, but in the end it's the quality of the players tomorrow that make the difference."

Guardiola is more than willing to take on board the advice of his four former Dortmund players, however.

"Yes, they are intelligent, players know about football," he said. "Some specific players have doubts... they know them better than me. They were two, three years with them, they know much more than me. I could watch a thousand videos.

"Their systems, formations, are less important than the fact of like how is the manager, how they thought they played against us two years ago – they know it, they know better than me."

It has been a remarkable start to life in England for Haaland, who is the first City player to score on both his Premier League and Champions League debuts for the club.

 

Haaland has scored 25 goals in 20 Champions League appearances, the most by any player in their first 20 games in the competition. He netted 15 in 13 games with Dortmund and could become just the second player to score a goal in the tournament both for and against the German side, after Ciro Immobile.

Guardiola believes it is too early, however, to judge if the striker can be the difference when it comes to City ending their Champions League duck.

"I'm not able to know it," he said. "The team and he, [so far] are playing well but right now, I don't know."

Asked what Haaland can improve, Guardiola replied: "He's young, he's hungry, he will be a better player, it's going to happen.

"At 22, 23 years old he can be better, for sure. It's a connection with his team-mates, a question of time, he will become a better player."


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