Norwich another 'exam' in Man City's preparation for Madrid - Guardiola

By Sports Desk July 24, 2020

Pep Guardiola hopes to see progress from Manchester City against Norwich City as they prepare for their Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid.

EFL Cup winners City lost their Premier League crown and could not retain the FA Cup but may yet triumph in Europe's elite club competition for the first time.

Guardiola's side lead Madrid 2-1 after the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu in February, meaning they need only protect their advantage to reach the eight-team finals tournament in Lisbon.

But the manager was concerned by the FA Cup defeat to Arsenal last weekend and still saw room for improvement in a 4-0 midweek thrashing of Watford as he considers his Champions League team selection.

With City on 97 league goals ahead of the Norwich game on the final day, Guardiola told reporters: "It's nice to score goals, but we cannot deny it is not enough to finish [higher].

"We are 18 points behind Liverpool, so we have to analyse what happened and every game must be a target. Maybe scoring 100 goals will help to win the game.

"Then we will see the players preparing the game against Madrid; this game against Norwich and the way they train this week, we are going to pay attention to prepare to play against Madrid.

"Every day will be an exam for me to see who is ready to play this game. I would say against Arsenal we were not ready. Against Watford, it was a little bit better, but we still need to improve."

Sergio Aguero has been a doubt for the Madrid game following knee surgery, yet Guardiola appeared to provide a boost as he named no injury absentees for that match.

"Everyone will be fit for Madrid, hopefully - except [Benjamin] Mendy who is suspended," said Guardiola, making no mention of City's record goalscorer.

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