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Pep Guardiola reveals his plan to stop Erling Haaland

Pep Guardiola, Erling Haaland
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Guardiola will face Haaland for the first time as Manchester City meet Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

Keeping Erling Haaland out of the Manchester City penalty area is the best way to starve him of opportunities, says Pep Guardiola.

The Norwegian striker is the Champions League’s top-scorer on 10 goals in only six matches. He also scored two braces in Borussia Dortmund’s last-16 tie with Sevilla to help the club qualify for the quarter-finals with a 5-4 aggregate win.

Now Haaland will pit his talents against Guardiola’s stellar defense, which hasn’t conceded a goal in over 385 minutes of football, for the first leg of the last eight tie between City and Dortmund on Tuesday.

“He’s fantastic, everyone knows it,” said Guardiola in a pre-match conference on Monday afternoon.

“A blind guy can realise he’s fantastic, it’s not necessary to be a manager to realise it.

On how City plan to stop Haaland, Guardiola added: “The strikers who score goals are going to score more goals when they are in our box. When they have more minutes as far as away from our box, they have fewer chances.

“Not just Haaland – [Jamie] Vardy, [Mohamed] Salah, Gabriel [Jesus], [Sergio] Aguero – all the strikers around the world they want to be there as much as possible.

“So the best way is avoid them being there as much as possible.”

How Haaland fares against City will be one of the biggest talking points of the quarter-finals, especially as the 20-year-old has been linked with a summer move to the Etihad.