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02-Nov-2020, 05:35 am

Guardiola puts the focus on Champions League ahead of countdown to Liverpool clash

Pep Guardiola Manchester City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he will pick his strongest side to face Olympiacos in the Champions League despite facing rivals Liverpool just five days later.

City have made a better start in the Champions League, winning their opening two matches against Porto and Marseille.

But with a testing schedule, Guardiola wants to secure qualification for the knockout stages as soon as possible and warned that the Greek champions cannot be taken lightly.

Asked whether the Liverpool game would come into his selectionthoughts, Guardiola said: "No, no, no. We have a big chance - not to qualify - butif we get nine points, it’s almost done. We will need one more point, one more victory to qualify.

"At home you need to win, you need to be careful. Now it’s Olympiacos. They were able to beat Marseille at home. We have to prepare well and after that we have time to prepare for Sunday.”

Injuries to Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have left Guardiola without a recognised striker for much of the season but the Brazilian could be back for the clash with Liverpool after returning to training at the end of last week.

Without them, City have just nine goals in six Premier League matches but, after having eight shots on target against the Blades on Saturday,Guardiola says he is happy with his side's creativity.

“One day we are going to score more goals. The most important thing is that we are creating the chances," he said.

"We had 16 shots, eight on target, and that is a lot. We have played this season without strikers but we have to try to play better and do it again and again and again. Finally we are going to find the right moment to do it.”

Summer signing Ferran Torres has stepped us as an emergency striker, scoring the openerin the victory in Marseille and leading the line at Bramall Lane.

The Spain international played the role on occasions for former club Valencia club and Guardiola has been delighted with how he has taken on the responsibility.

"We wanted to play him as a winger," the City boss added. "He has the quality to score goals, in the one against one and his pace, but we have struggled a lot in the striker position.

"We’ve not had anyone for a long time. He did really well. He had three chances to score a goal, making those runs in behind and did an even better performance than against Marseille.

"He is an incredible alternative for us. He’s settled really well in the locker room. He’s so shy but so calm.

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