Pep Guardiola has admitted he 'doesn't know' how to stop Paris Saint-Germain's glittering attack, with his Manchester City side set to face Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and possibly Lionel Messi on Tuesday night.
The big-spending giants meet in the French capital on Matchday 2 of the 2021/22 Champions League, with both widely expected to progress from Group A.
Despite the strength of his own team and the fact the three are yet to truly gel as a frontline, Guardiola is unsure of how to stop the superstar trio.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of facing Mauricio Pochettino's men, Guardiola said: “What should we do? I don’t know. With this amount of quality I don’t know how to stop them, honestly. They’re so good.
“This amount of talent together – to control it is so difficult. We will try to defend well when we don’t have the ball and make them run when we have the ball.
“They’re exceptional players. All of them are so good individually. They can combine and connect with each other. We’re looking forward to playing the game.”
Guardiola worked with the Argentine during their time together at Barcelona and was inevitably full of praise for the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.
“Messi speaks for himself on the pitch," he said. "I don’t have to add anything else.
“We’re fortunate to have seen him during these 15 or 16 years as a professional. What he’s done in his career is more than exceptional and hopefully tomorrow he can play for the benefit of the game.”
City knocked PSG out on the way to reaching the Champions League final last season, but Guardiola believes the presence of Messi will make a significant difference to the hosts' chances this time around.
He continued: “That was last season. They are a fantastic team and it was a tight game, and now they have Messi.
“They are huge competitors and these are new games, a new competition. It’s the group stage, not the knockout. It’s different.
“We played a few days ago and that gives us positive energy but football is highs and lows and can change so quickly.
“Against PSG they were better in the first half in Paris. In Manchester we defended better than we expected and punished them on the counter.
“They have the talent and we have to do it as a team. We have to be compact, help each other and know we are going to suffer and have pain. It’s about how you handle the pain.”