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Kevin de Bruyne: City must prepare themselves for Leipzig’s “RB DNA”

The English champions will have to be at their best to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals, the Belgian insisted.

De Bruyne ahead of Leipzig clash
JASON CAIRNDUFFAction Images via Reuters

Manchester City are only too aware of the importance of Tuesday’s Champions League tie against RB Leipzig. The Premier League champions were held to a draw in the first leg in Germany, meaning that they need to overcome Leipzig at home to secure a spot in the draw for the quarter-finals.

One of City’s star performers in recent seasons, Kevin de Bruyne, knows more than most about the threat that Leipzig can pose. Before his club-record switch to Manchester, De Bruyne plied his trade for Wolfsburg and regularly clashed with Tuesday’s opponents in the Bundesliga.

De Bruyne: High intensity style suits RB Leipzig

Ahead of that all-important game, De Bruyne spoke about the German side’s distinctive playing style. Leipzig are part of drinks manufacturer Red Bull’s stable of football clubs, all of whom share a focus on a super-modern pressing style and data-led approach.

The Belgian playmaker warned that City will have to be prepared for Leipzig’s high intensity system if they are to advance in the Champions League.

“We know what team it is. High in energy, quality, intensity: the RB DNA. Players in the middle, aggressive. They make it a tough game,” he said.

“I played against them with Wolfsburg, pretty similar... The quality is always there. They took a step from second division to top four and CL. You can’t do this without quality. I’m very aware of what threats they have. Hopefully we manage that tomorrow.”

City must prove themselves against the best, De Bruyne insists

For all their domestic dominance, Manchester City have failed to lift the Champions League during this period of modern success. Speaking shortly after De Bruyne on Monday, head coach Pep Guardiola admitted that his time at the Etihad will likely be judged on the team’s success in Europe.

De Bruyne told reporters that City will have to be at their best if they are to overcome a Leipzig side that sit third in the Bundesliga.

Manchester City prepare for Champions League tie
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Manchester City prepare for Champions League tiePAUL ELLISAFP

“It’ll be a tough game, Leipzig are tough. We played them last year, I saw them, they’re doing really well. High energy game, will be tough.”

If you want to win the CL you must be the best team in Europe. We’ve been in quarters and semis but not done the end bit. We’ll try like every year.”

When asked if he regretted his side’s struggles in the Champions League to date, De Bruyne was philosophical about his career successes.

“I don’t regret the things I do. Whatever competition I try to win. You lose more than you win. I’ve won a lot, I’m fortunate.”


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