Pep Guardiola: ‘anything can happen’ in UCL One-Offs

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UEFA Champions League will finish off, in the later rounds, in one-and-done format (Instead of the usual standard two legged ties). It’s reminiscent of the college basketball NCAA Tournament, colloquially known as “March Madness.”

It’s “mad” because anything goes when it’s single elimination, and upsets are pervasive. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola leads the side which currently sits in the favorites perch, so he is fully on upset alert right now. City take on Lyon in the Portugese capital tomorrow night.

pep guardiola

“Every game is a final from now on, but we are ready,” the Spaniard said at his prematch news conference today.

“Playing just a single game makes it quite different, when you play in a first leg you always have one eye on the second, but in this situation there is no second chance. You either go through or go home, and that is possibly why there have been some unexpected results.”

With just 90 minutes and extra time, it’s all win-or-go-home, each and every match.

“The elite clubs will be there always, they are not going to go away, but perhaps you need this kind of competition sometimes because in one game anything can happen,” Guardiola continued.

“It’s exciting.”

It absolutely is, and we’ll be captivated by the action.

Manchester City vs Lyon Champions League Quarterfinal FYIs

Kickoff:  8pm Saturday July 15, Estadio Jose Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal

Team news for both sides: go to this link

Starting XI Predictions: go to this link

Odds: (-305) Manchester City (+750) Lyon (+450) Draw

outright winner (+220) Manchester City  (+3500) Lyon

Form Guide (all competitions): Manchester City  WWLWWW  Lyon WWLLLL

Form Guide (UCL):  Manchester City  WDDWWW   Lyon WWLLLL

Prediction: Manchester City 2, Lyon 0

Ederson has been dominant in certain stretches this season, and overall, he had a phenomenal campaign in the league. Look for him to register a clean sheet here.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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