RB Leipzig defender makes Haaland prediction and issues Man City warning

Erling Haaland’s RB Leipzig defeated them when they last met, but the defender thinks their rematch on Wednesday will be even tougher.

On Wednesday, Leipzig will host City at the Red Bull Arena for the first of their two-game Champions League last-16 matchups. The teams previously clashed in the group stages of last season’s competition, with each team coming out on top. The Bundesliga team has struggled in the league, but they made an impression by winning their group ahead of Celtic and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Gvardiol, a 21-year-old whose exploits for Croatia during the World Cup drew many people’s attention and sparked rumors about a Premier League move, has been essential to the success of Marco Rose’s team. The Norwegian goal machine Haaland will be a familiar opponent for the defense on Wednesday as the latter defeated him while Haaland was playing for Dortmund last season.

“We played there [at Dortmund] and won 4-1 but honestly it was this period when [Haaland] wаnted to leave so maybe he wasn’t happy,” Gvardiol told The Times. “I believe he is much better than what he did in that game.

“We have seen this season in the Premier League what he has done already, and I’m looking forward to this game because I want to play against top-class players. I believe he is one of them and is going to be even better and better.”

Gvardiol continues to be linked with a move to the Premier League, but on Wednesday turns out for a Leipzig side far from fancied to progress to the quarter-finals. City are widely regarded as favourites to lift the trophy, and Guardiola’s side are expected to get the better of their German counterparts over the two legs – but the Croatian believes his side can cause a sҺock.

“I always like to say in football that everything is possible,” the Leipzig man added. “The ball is round and you see at the World Cup that Croatia, a small country with this team, got third place.

“In history, we have won already three medals in the World Cup. Imagine this, a country of 3.8million people. In this game we have to be with positive thoughts and don’t be afraid of anything, believe in ourselves and our quality, and try to win.”

Two crucial players are absent from the Man City training squad for RB Leipzig

In preparation for their Champions League round of 16 first-leg match at RB Leipzig, Manchester City will travel to Germany on Tuesday.

Prior to their return to Champions League play this week, Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte were both absent from Manchester City’s training sessions.

Before the World Cup, City won its Champions League group, securing a matchup with RB Leipzig in the round of 16. The first leg of that matchup will be played in Germany tomorrow.

Instead of trying to hold onto their lead over Arsenal in the Premier League, the Blues will be hoping to recover from their discouraging draw at Nottingham Forest over the weekend.

Chris Wood’s late equalizer prevented City from scoring at the City Ground despite having numerous excellent scoring opportunities. Despite this, they didn’t appear to sustain any new injury issues, and Phil Foden made his first start in seven games following his own injury struggles.

Before to their travel to Germany, the City team practiced at the City Football Academy on Tuesday without De Bruyne, Laporte, and John Stones. The ensemble included kids Jadel Katongo, Shea Charles, and Alex Robertson.

The January acquisition Maximo Perrone, who has made one bench appearance, was a member of City’s Champions League team and participated in training on Tuesday. It is unknown if he will go to Leipzig with his colleagues. He was one of the group who traveled to Nottingham over the weekend but was left off the matchday roster.

Later on Tuesday, after landing in Leipzig, Pep Guardiola and Nathan Ake will speak with the media to provide a more thorough team report and discuss City’s chances of winning the Champions League this year.

Ederson, Ortega, Carson; Walker, Ake, Lewis, Dias, Akanji, Gomez, Katongo; Rodri, Phillips, Charles, Gundogan, Bernardo, Perrone, Robertson; Foden, Grealish, Mahrez, Palmer, Alvarez, Haaland; are the members of the Man City training squad before their trip to RB Leipzig.