Pep Guardiola makes Jack Grealish admission ahead of Man City Champions League debut

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is hopeful that tonight’s Champions League clash with RB Leipzig at the Etihad Stadium will be the “first of many” appearances in Europe for record-signing Jack Grealish.

Grealish, who joined City from Aston Villa in a £100million deal last month, has been named in the starting line-up for this evening’s tussle with Leipzig, meaning it will be the first time that he has sampled the taste of European football’s top club competition.

Grealish’s dream has always been to play in the Champions League, with Villa confirming that if a top four club made a move for him that they would not stand in his way. City did just that and Grealish became a Bluye.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s clash at the Etihad, Guardiola, addressing Grealish’s first Champions League appearance, said: “Yes, hopefully, the first of many, I’m sure it will be.”

Starting alongside Grealish for the very first time this evening is Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgium international has played just 11 minutes worth of football so far this season because of an ankle injury.

However, he has returned to the starting line-up this evening, handing City a huge boost. He is one of four changes that Guardiola has made to his side, with the likes of Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus amongst those to drop out.

“Yes, for a long time he doesn’t play an official game but sooner or later many players have to come back to the rhythm,” continued the City manager.

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Jack Grealish has made a steady start to life at Manchester City.

Manchester City didn’t get the marquee striker they wanted in the summer transfer window, but they should still be favourites to win the league with new signing Jack Grealish in tow.

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“No, no, I decide for these guys, of course Kyle could play and Raheem [Sterling], many players, Gabriel [Jesus], and the guys who play these last three games, Ilkay [Gundogan] for example, are so important for us but everyone has to start to be part of the group for this tough, tough and busy, busy schedule.”

“It’s so important, in the group stages. “The games at home you must win otherwise you have to go away and win one or two games and the group stage is so tough.

“We know it but it’s the first, nothing much about the future, the present is today so try and do a good game today and win.”

Elsewhere, Guardiola confirmed that both John Stones and Aymeric Laporte have missed out through injury.

Guardiola said: “He’s [Stones] injured from the national team. The same like Laporte.”

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