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Mind games begin: Pep Guardiola says Bayern Munich, not Man City, are Champions League favorites

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With a win over BMG all but guaranteeing his spot in the QF’s, the former Bayern manager has already started work on the new narrative.

Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One Photo by Manchester City FC/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Following a comfortable 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola rejected claims that his side were favorites for the Champions League. Speaking to the media after the game, the Spaniard named his former club Bayern Munich as the real favorites, singling them out for Tuesday’s performance against Lazio.

Per Goal, Guardiola has apparently picked up a penchant for making a good old British understatement, saying: “Up front, we have to be more clinical. In this competition, you have to be perfect to make sure you go through.”

“When I see Bayern Munich I don’t think we are favorites”, said Pep. “My target is West Ham in three days.” Ironically, this was right after he’d played Gladbach off the park — Gladbach being one of the few teams to have beaten Bayern Munich this season.

The Foals were utterly helpless to stop City’s assault, managing only 1 shot on target and 0.3 xG over 90 minutes. It was a dominant performance in every aspect of the game. Joao Cancelo was especially good, as Marco Rose’s men were unable to pin down the tricky fullback/midfielder in his funky hybrid role. City now have 12 consecutive away wins in all competitions, a record for an English top flight club.

However, Guardiola refuses to talk about being UCL favorites. “If people say we are favorites, we have to accept it, but a team who, in their whole history, has been to a semi-final once? OK, they say it, we have to accept it.” He’s right in a way, but you have to admit that Man City are the most in-form team in Europe right now. If you were a betting man, your money would be on City. Will that be the same case come April? Who can say?