Man City, Feyenoord clash in UEFA Champions League
• Borussia Dortmund tackle Spurs
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City are still not among the favourites to win the Champions League despite their eye-catching form in domestic and European competition.
The Premier League leaders face Feyenoord today unbeaten in 18 games in all competitions this season and with an increasing number of observers tipping them to challenge for Europe’s biggest prize, which they have never won.
Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri and Leicester’s well-travelled boss Claude Puel are the latest respected judges to name City as the best team in Europe but Guardiola is continuing to play down expectations around his side, who have already qualified for the Champions League’s last 16.
“I say thank you very much to both of them,” said Guardiola of the praise from his fellow managers. “For Manchester City, a team that still needs a history in Europe, it is a big win.
“That doesn’t mean we are favourites to win the Champions League but it’s nice. It means we are doing some things very well.
“But obviously people usually say the favourite teams are FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and others. But that people put us there, is a big honour. That does not mean we have done anything because we haven’t.”
Guardiola has lost England defender John Stones for up to six weeks with captain Vincent Kompany, another centre-back, still edging his way back from injury.
With 13 games to play from Tuesday until their trip to Watford on January 2, Guardiola believes the coming period will be his squad’s biggest test of the season.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund have lifted the suspension on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with their star striker set to face Tottenham Hotspur in today’s Champions League clash.
Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc confirmed Aubameyang is back in the squad after his suspension for being late for training and an unauthorised video shoot at the club’s training ground.
The Gabon international was left out of Friday’s 2-1 defeat at Stuttgart which saw the early season pacesetters drop to fifth in the Bundesliga table.
Aubameyang, the Bundesliga’s top scorer last season, is in a goal drought.
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