Don't take Shakhtar lightly, says wary Pep Guardiola

Posted September 27, 2017

With Pep Guardiola's arrival to English shores, many sat eagerly in anticipation at the effect the most talked about coach in world football would have on the Premier League.

Paulo Fonseca's Shakhtar could provide a stern test though, after they also notched an opening Group F win with a 2-1 defeat of Napoli.

Pep Guardiola does not think Manchester City's rampaging recent form is likely to leave Premier League title rivals Manchester United and Chelsea quaking in their boots.

City's September form has been devastating.

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Shakhtar arrived at the Etihad Stadium unbeaten in nine competitive games and their contingent of Brazilian players made life hard for City, with Taison, Marlos and Bernard depriving the hosts of the possession they have become accustomed to enjoying this season.

City's Champions League opener came as a 4-0 away win over Dutch outfit Feyenoord, and the Citizens will be hoping for more of the same come Tuesday night. Shakhtar have no such luxury, even for a few weeks before the match, everything is perfectly clear, someone will come in based on a match of the Champions League. He has a winning mentality and he wants the best from his players.

City supporters have been slow to embrace the Champions League as a whole.

But while our form is electric and it's very easy to get carried away, Guardiola has been quick to remind us of last season when the wheels came off a flawless ten wins out of ten start very quickly.

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All four teams in the group have one point, after Spartak Moscow drew 1-1 at Maribor. Five matches, 22 goals scored and one conceded across three competitions is a near-flawless return. APOEL lost 3-0 to Real Madrid in their opening fixture but are no lightweights at home.

Aguero was given the chance to score his landmark goal when Silva chipped a wonderful pass into the box for him to volley, but Pyatov was equal to the shot, parrying it to safety, and Silva had a claim for a penalty waved away after 65 minutes when Ivan Ordets dispossessed him with a heavy challenge.

Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele could miss Tuesday's match against Apoel due to a persistent foot injury, manager Mauricio Pochettino has said. They have made it to the last 16 on three occasions, the last being during the 2014-2015 campaign. This is their seventh group stage appearance in eight years. In addition Shakhtar shocked Napoli in game week one in what was probably the performance of the round.

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