If City change, they'll think I'm scared - Guardiola won't go defensive at Liverpool

Pep Guardiola insists he will not ask Manchester City to abandon their attacking principles when they meet Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Anfield was the scene of City's only Premier League defeat this season back in January, when Jurgen Klopp's side earned a thrilling 4-3 victory after taking advantage of a poor second-half spell for the visitors.

However, Guardiola has no plans to tell his players to adopt a more cautious approach in the first leg of their quarter-final tie, although he says he is not "so arrogant" that he is not wary of Liverpool's attacking threat.

He told a news conference: "If I said to my players that we are going to do something different, to change how we play, they would look at me and think, 'This guy is scared.' They would say, 'The manager doesn't trust himself.'

"Of course, I consider what is the value from Liverpool, I'm concerned about what they do, I'm not so arrogant to think it doesn't matter what they do. But we're not going to defend 90 minutes and play one counter-attack. Why should we change when it has been going well so far?

"I know the way we play is perfect for Liverpool. They attack the space like no other team in the world. We're going to try to do something but I feel the best way to try to win is what we've done while we've been together."

City were beaten by Monaco at the last-16 stage last season, losing on away goals following a thrilling 6-6 aggregate draw with the Ligue 1 champions.

Guardiola feels his relatively young team need to learn to be more composed in such knockout ties during difficult spells.

"Last season, what we were not able to do in knockout games was to remain calm in the bad moments," he said. "You see Real Madrid, Barcelona, the opponent is attacking and it looks like, 'I'm taking a cup of coffee, because I know my chance is coming.' 

"Our strikers are 20, 21, it's the first or second time playing in that competition, so maybe we need more time."

Guardiola expects a similarly high-scoring encounter with Liverpool, not least because of the form of Mohamed Salah, who has scored 37 goals in all competitions in his debut season under Klopp.

"He did really well in Rome. He was amazing," said Guardiola. "This season, it's perfect for him. Jurgen is a master to buy players for what he really needs.

"They punish your mistakes because they are so fast, so direct. It's good, a good challenge for us. 

"We cannot deny that both teams try to play. We're the teams to score the most goals in the Premier League this season, by far. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a good game."

Guardiola, though, does not expect the Anfield atmosphere to prove any more difficult to cope with than the other major venues across the continent.

"The atmosphere is tough but if you go to Barcelona, the atmosphere is [tough] as well, same as Madrid," he added. "I think the big challenge is trying to play the way you want with your team."

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