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Xavi Hernandez expects Manchester City to go all-out for the Champions League this season

Pep Guardiola

Xavi Hernandez expects Manchester City to target the Champions League in the second half of the season.

City beat Sheffield United 2-0 on Sunday but Liverpool's 1-0 defeat of Wolves means the reigning Premier League champions remain 14 points adrift of Jurgen Klopp's side, who have played a game fewer.

City are through to the League Cup semi-finals and will begin their FA Cup campaign against Port Vale in the third round this weekend.

But Barcelona legend Xavi believes Pep Guardiola, who has not won the Champions League since leaving the Camp Nou in 2012, will be targeting European glory in 2020.

"Pep is a born winner," the Al Sadd manager told the Daily Mirror

“It will hurt him that Manchester City are so far behind Liverpool in the league - and he won’t give up.

“He will be realistic, though. The gap is a big one and at the moment it doesn’t look likely that they can make it three titles in a row. With that in mind, I think there’s a big chance Pep will prioritise the Champions League.

“They will be two big games coming up against Real Madrid [in the round of 16] - and maybe there will be a chance to rest players before these games that they wouldn’t have if they were in a title race.

“Pep will want to win every trophy that he can - but if you’d asked him at the start of the season what he would prefer, I’m sure he would have said the Champions League.

“He joked with [Jurgen] Klopp that maybe Manchester City and Liverpool should swap trophies this year - but there was some truth in that joke, I think.

“He’s won every trophy in England with Manchester City and he knows that winning the Champions League with them would take them to the next level as a club.”


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