Pep Guardiola will know what it takes to stop Barcelona and Lionel Messi, according to Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
Guardiola returns to Camp Nou for the first time as City manager four years after leading Barca to three La Liga titles and two Champions League in his four seasons there.
But Gundogan, who will be playing at Camp Nou for the first time, says the Catalan coach knows how to prepare his side for a tough clash with the Spanish champions.
“I think this will be the biggest challenge, yes. They will definitely be the best team we will have faced so far,” the German international told reporters.
“I haven’t played against them before but we all know that they have world-class players and maybe the world’s best player in Lionel Messi.
“Away, it will be especially tough, a challenge, but I can say we are definitely not scared. We are curious and want to have this experience and want to play in this stadium against this team. It will not be a test, but exciting for us.
“It’s a big plus for us [that Guardiola] knows them. He knows the team, the club, the stadium and he knows Messi.
“He also knows the Barcelona way, the Catalan way so he knows everything and he will give us some information that other managers can’t give.
“This is important, definitely. He knows how they play, and how they will want to play. At the end, though, it’s down to our players to do that on the field and carry out what he wants us to do.”
City are in the middle of a mini-slump after winning their first 10 games under Guardiola.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Everton was their third match without a win. But Gundogan insists they are not too concerned.
Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero both missed penalties against Everton and Gundogan says they deserved to take three points.
“We don’t worry, no. I think we played a good game against Everton,” the 25-year-old added. “It’s just the score, the draw that was not good for us.
“But I am convinced we played a really good game against a really good team, a tough opponent with good players and if you see how we played against them and how dominant we were, it’s a big plus for us.
“We missed two penalties in the game and we know what we are able to do and we can achieve even more if we do that. That’s our next target.”
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