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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Manchester City-Atletico: Guardiola wary of "offensive" Simeone

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes there is a "misconception" regarding Atletico Madrid's style of play under Diego Simeone.

Manchester City-Atletico: Guardiola wary of "offensive" Simeone
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Pep Guardiola says the debate regarding the contrasting styles of his Manchester City side and Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid "is stupid".

The reigning champions of England and Spain face off at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

While Atletico have become famed for their organised and somewhat defensive set-ups, City are considered one of the finest footballing sides anywhere in world football.

However, ahead of facing Simeone for a fourth time in their managerial careers, Guardiola has defended the Argentine's style of play.

Guardiola: "There is a misconception about the way Simeone plays"

"I'm not going to talk one second about this stupid debate," Guardiola said at Monday's pre-match news conference. 

"Everyone tries to win the game. If they win they are right, if we win we are right. It's for the players, the difference will be there. Honestly, not one second.

"After watching Atletico there is a misconception, wrong, about the way Simeone plays. It's more offensive than people believe. 

"He doesn't want to take a risk in the build up but they have quality in the final third. They know exactly how to play. In the moments of the game, these situations are really good."

Guardiola, who has won two of those previous three meetings with Simeone, added: "What is playing ugly? 

"My team won 1-0 at Old Trafford and Bernardo Silva spent five minutes in the corner, that is not ugly. It's defending the position. 

"I'm here to talk about what we try to do. I never judge the opponents. What they do, what we have to do to win."

City have won eight major domestic honours in Guardiola's five full campaigns at the club, but they have yet to lift the Champions League under the Catalan coach.

Guardiola has at times been criticised for overthinking his team selections and he joked he will take a different approach in the first leg against Atletico.

"That's why I overthink and create stupid tactics"

"In the Champions League I always overthink," he said. "There are always new tactics. Tomorrow you will see a new one. I overthink a lot, that's why I have very good results.

"It would be boring if I always played the same way. If people think I play the same against Atlético and Liverpool, I don't like. 

"The movements are different, the players are all different with different personalities. That's why I overthink and create stupid tactics.

"Tonight I take an inspiration and I'm going to do incredible tactics tomorrow. We play with 12 tomorrow!"

Guardiola and Simeone set for first European meeting

While Guardiola and Simeone have crossed paths before, Tuesday's match will be the first time City and Atletico have faced off in European competition.

Guardiola has won three of his four meetings with Spanish clubs in the Champions League while in charge of City, with those being the most recent three.

City's reward should they better Atleti over the two legs will be a semi-final against either Real Madrid or Chelsea, the latter a possible repeat of last season's final.