Wednesday, 19 September 2018

I am surprised we're tagged Champions League favourite - Mikel Arteta

Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta has revealed he is surprised by the tag placed on Man City as a favourite to win the Champions League this season.

Manchester City is still on a bid to win the Champions League and this season they can run for it again. Due to the quality of players they have and how well they perform in the Premier League last season, many Champions League followers have now tagged them to win the biggest European trophy this season.

Mikel Arteta who will oversee City game on Wednesday against Lyon due to Pep Guardiola suspension has now accepted the challenge and also claim it won't easy as people think and that he sees Real Madrid as the top favourite.

Speaking in a press conference ahead of their game against Lyon, Arteta spoke about Real Madrid and the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and also about City's chances of winning the Champions League.

'I am surprised when you have a team that's won it three times in a row,' Arteta said

'But that means we're doing things really well. People think we are candidates to compete against other teams in Europe.'

'It has to be a motivation, not a pressure, that's the way we take it and hopefully, we can improve on what we did the last two seasons because we came up short.'

'The favourites have to be Real Madrid, they have something special for this competition and they deal with every detail better than everyone else. The rest, we have to catch up and make that gap smaller.'

'It's a very open Champions League, that was the case last season and will be this season. The difference between the teams is not that big. They [Madrid] won the competition without Ronaldo as well, but of course, he's a massive weapon. It will be tough for everyone, I think.'

Arteta also dismissed the saying that Manchester City are favourite because of their big spending.

'I don't believe that's the reason people believe that's why we can challenge,' He said

'It's because of how consistent we've been, in the way we played in this competition. It's a very difficult competition and tomorrow I'm sure we'll face a tough game again.'

'For me, we have the best players in the world. I see how they behave, see how they react, I know their qualities and weaknesses and I wouldn't change my players for any others.'

'The hunger that's still in this group is incredible, people talk about the money we have to spend, [but] people have to see what's inside this club, which is phenomenal.'

Manchester City takes on Lyon at the Etihad for their first Champions League game of the season on Wednesday.

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