Man City manager Pep Guardiola explains team selection vs RB Leipzig

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Man City manager Pep Guardiola explains team selection vs RB Leipzig

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola opted to name four centre-backs and an additional midfielder in his starting XI against RB Leipzig to combat the opposition's strength in central areas. With a place in the Champions League quarter-finals at stake, Guardiola made one change from the win over Crystal Palace with Kevin De Bruyne replacing Phil Foden in the line-up. It meant John Stones and Nathan Ake were retained at right-back and left-back respectively, despite being central defenders by trade. Given his recent form, the omission of Foden was also quite surprising. The 22-year-old had scored four goals from as many outings in all competitions, while De Bruyne has not been firing on all cylinders.

READ MORE: Live updates from City vs Leipzig De Bruyne joined fellow midfielders Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva in the starting XI. Speaking to BT Sport pre-game, Guardiola said: "Guys like this help us defensively and in the build-up. I make this team because I have few doubts and everyone is available. Everyone is ready. "All four [defenders] can play in different shapes, they can adapt defensively and that's why we decide.

" City manager Guardiola added: "They start a lot of players inside. A lot. We have to adapt. "It doesn't matter if they play strikers or wingers, they play inside. The outside is for full-backs and they attack from inside, but we will see if they change shape after five minutes.

" Despite taking an early lead though Riyad Mahrez in the first leg, City were pegged back upon the restart as highly-rated Croatia international Josko Gvardiol netted an equaliser in the 70th minute. It meant it was all to play for before kick-off in the last-16 tonight. Erling Haaland had scored an early brace to give City a 3-1 aggregate lead at the time of writing. MORE TO READ: The latest Manchester City news De Bruyne weighs in on Haaland tactical debate De Bruyne offers update on long-term City future Guardiola delivers message to City players Every word from Guardiola press conference

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