Luis Enrique: Pep has had a massive impact on City

Barcelona take on Manchester City on Wednesday evening in a blockbuster group stage clash that is made all the more interesting by the fact that Pep Guardiola will take his new Manchester City side to his old stomping ground of the Camp Nou.

Although Guardiola only arrived at the Etihad in the summer, Luis Enrique believes that he has already had a significant impact on the way the Sky Blues play.

“Pep is clearly committed and he has had a massive impact on the team since pre-season,” the Asturian said in his pre-match press conference.

“City already have the characteristic mechanisms of a Guardiola team.

“They want to have the ball, like we do, and they pressure when they don’t have it.

“There is no better match than this for a football supporter.”

While many eyes will be on the two coaches, Enrique pointed out that the impact he and his opposite number can have on the match is limited.

“This is not a match between coaches, as it will be decided by the players,” he said.

“I was fortunate enough to play alongside Guardiola in the national team and at Barcelona.

“Yet, just because we know each other personally does not mean we know how each other will coach.”

Expanding on the preparation he and his coaching staff have done for this group stage game, the 46-year-old discussed how dangerous the English side are on an individual and collective basis.

“We have been very clear to the players that City has a lot of individual quality and that they can do a lot of different things as a team, with the influence of their coach,” he said.

“They have a very attractive way of playing.

“This is Pep’s City and it will be more difficult than any other situation.

“I have always considered him as the best coach there is, and that is without having seen any of his training sessions.”

As for his summary of team news, the Asturian explained how beneficial it is to have Lionel Messi back, while he also revealed that the two starting full-backs Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba have been back in training and should be fit enough to play.

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