Pep Guardiola: Man City must prove themselves in Champions League second leg vs Dortmund

Sergio Aguero not fit to travel for Borussia Dortmund clash; Ayemeric Laporte returns after missing Premier League defeat to Leeds; Jadon Sancho ruled out for Borussia Dortmund; Marco Reus and Mats Hummels doubtful

Manchester City
Image: Manchester City have been knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League in each of the last three seasons

Pep Guardiola has challenged his players to take the next step in the Champions League ahead of their quarter-final second leg against Borussia Dortmund following the frustrations of recent seasons.

The Premier League leaders hold a 2-1 advantage from last week's first encounter ahead of the second leg of their quarter-final at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday.

City have been beaten in the quarter-finals in each of the past three seasons and have not reached the last four since 2016.

Guardiola wants his players to prove themselves using the disappointment of their recent failures as motivation.

"Now is the time to make another step, everyone wants it. The players first because they were sad when we were not able to go to the semi-finals," he said.

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"Tomorrow is another opportunity to prove ourselves. Nobody is going to give it to us - we have to win it, we have to do it.

"If we are good or don't make mistakes, like we did against Lyon, we are going to do it. We will see but I'm so excited to travel to Germany, and for all the players and the club, to try to do it."

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City, who are bidding for an unprecedented quadruple this season, are clear favourites to progress but Guardiola is well aware of the nerves and pressures that can come into play at this stage of the competition.

For that, he has called on the leaders in his side to stand up and take responsibility.

Pep Guardiola
Image: Pep Guardiola has called on the leaders in his side to stand up and take responsibility

He said: "Of course you have to control your emotions but sometimes you need emotions in a good way to win this type of game.

"I didn't say anything special, we are not going to do anything special. We just go there to win the game, analyse and each one try to be a leader on the pitch.

"When the guy feels comfortable during the game to take responsibility, be more involved; for the guys who are more nervous or quiet, OK, do your job, play simple, be calm, and after the rest will come. After, maybe, five minutes you will be ready to make a good performance again."

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Guardiola gives his thoughts on approaching a decade without winning the Champions League, having won the competition twice in three years as Barcelona boss

Guardiola also insists his side will not sit back on their advantage from the first leg, saying: "We are looking forward. Many things can happen, nothing is guaranteed. We had a good result, we don't defend, everything to win.

"If you think of the consequences or goals you have to score or concede, you forget what you have to do. You focus on what you have to do in the game, the plan we have to execute it.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (PA)
Image: Sergio Aguero has not travelled due to a muscular problem

"After the quality of players will do the rest. Will be better they don't score and we win, but in the Champions League you always have a chance. We have weapons to score, they have weapons to score.

"We go there, we aren't going to defend anything we won here, control their quality, try to win the game."

City will be without Sergio Aguero who has not travelled to Germany due to a muscular problem but Aymeric Laporte returns to the squad after missing the 2-1 Premier League defeat to Leeds.

'Haaland goal drought not down to transfer talk'

Erling Haaland is likely to be key to Dortmund's hopes of turning the tie around.

The Norwegian striker has not scored in his last six matches for club and country but Dortmund boss Edin Terzic insists continued speculation over the 20-year-old's future is not affecting his game.

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Terzic said at his pre-match press conference: "Even if he hasn't scored in these last matches he is an important, key player for us.

"He can cause difficulties for our opponents. As we saw in the last matches, especially in the second half against Stuttgart, he did a great job.

"It is important that he scores goals and he is the key player for us."

Jadon Sancho will again miss out on facing his former club Manchester City in the Champions League
Image: Jadon Sancho will again miss out on facing his former club Manchester City

Jadon Sancho has been ruled out of the second-leg clash too, with the England international sidelined for more than a month with a thigh problem.

Dortmund also have injury doubts over experienced pair Marco Reus and Mats Hummels for the match.

Terzic said: "There are a few slightly injured. We will have to wait. Marco Reus and Mats Hummels needed to be substituted and leave the pitch on Saturday.

"We have another training session and we will see who will be at our disposal."

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