Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City need 'two exceptional games' to reach Champions League final

Manchester City find themselves two games away from a successive Champions League final, but a resolute Real Madrid side stands in their way.

Manchester City host the first leg of their Champions League semi-final clash on Tuesday evening, when 13-time winners Real Madrid visit the Etihad Stadium.

While the Citizens are going toe-to-toe with Liverpool in the Premier League, European success is top of Pep Guardiola's priority list in Manchester, with the club yet to win a continental title.

They fell short in the final last season in a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea, and should they progress past Real in the semis, another all-Premier League clash could await them if Liverpool get the better of Villarreal on the other side of the draw.

But while many are already anticipating a City vs Liverpool final, Guardiola was quick to warn his side about how difficult the task that waits them is.

Pep Guardiola, Man City vs Sporting Lisbon

"We will try to be ourselves, compete well. We need to play two exceptional games to reach the final. It is not necessary to say how good Real Madrid are," said the Spaniard.

"If we have to compete with their history, we don't have any chance. It speaks for itself.

"The history is there, we can't change it, but it's 11 against 11 with one ball moving. The players decide their decision-making."

City could have a handful of key players out with injury for the first leg, notably defensive stars John Stones and Kyle Walker.

The English duo were absent from City's 5-1 win over Watford on the weekend and now face a race to be fit for the tie.

But one English star who will be available to Guardiola is Raheem Sterling, who said pre-match that his only focus is on the Real match despite ongoing contract negotiations with the club.

"Every season it's always a challenge. It's the one we've not got our hands on and we're focusing on.

"It's a special competition, every young player wants to be here."

READ MORE: The Championship teams who have been waiting the longest to go head to head with Everton

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