Football news and talking points: Pep Guardiola on Barcelona comparisons, Arsenal fans in Arsene Wenger vote

Arsene Wenger

We take a look at the top stories dominating Tuesday's evening headlines...

Guardiola plays down City-Barca comparisons

Pep Guardiola has dismissed claims his Manchester City side are now at the level of Barcelona.

City are now regarded as Champions League favourites in many quarters having enjoyed an outstanding season to date.

City won the Carabao Cup last month and are now within four wins of claiming the Premier League title having opened up a 16-point lead at the top.

Trending on All-time XI: Footballers managed by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona

They should also secure a place in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday as they go into the second leg of their last-16 tie against Basel holding a 4-0 aggregate lead.

But asked if his side were now a match for his former club Barcelona, City boss Guardiola said: "No, because it is completely different. Their players won a lot in the past, we are new here.

"Now we can say we won one title but it is not good for us comparing with that team. They dominated the last decade - 15-20 years with different managers, different players. Every season they won a lot of things.

"We won just the first title. To think about joining these kind of teams you have to be there a long time. That means many years."

Sky Bet: Man City v FC Basel: Champions League last-16 second leg odds

In team news, City are still likely to be without midfielder Fernandinho and forward Raheem Sterling for the Basel clash.

The pair are both back in training after hamstring injuries but the second leg of the last-16 tie could come too soon. They could both be back in contention for Monday's Premier League trip to Stoke.

Fabian Delph could return at left-back having served a three-game domestic suspension. Benjamin Mendy (knee), sidelined since September, is back in training and could return this month.

Tottenham now respected in Europe, says Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino believes his "brave" Tottenham side are ready to take another major step in Europe.

Spurs host Juventus on Wednesday night in the second leg of their round-of-16 tie at Wembley.

The north Londoners have every chance of knocking out the Italian champions - finalists in two of the last three seasons - after coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 in the first leg in Turin.

Tottenham v Juventus news: Toby Alderweireld ruled out of Champions League last 16 tie

Having already beaten Real Madrid in the group stage, Tottenham's reputation across the continent continues to grow and Pochettino has told his players to grasp their latest opportunity to make another big statement.

"It's been step by step, a little step every season," said the Spurs boss.

"You can see the team is more mature. We are going to enjoy tomorrow.

"We know very well we are playing one of the best teams in Europe but we are a brave team and we are very positive people.

"We need to think that we can win, we always think in this way. If we are able to play in the way we normally do then we will be close to winning.

"After the group stage we improved our reputation in Europe. Last season was a massive disappointment to be out in the first stage, but this year of course the people in Europe start to respect Tottenham.

"They respect the philosophy we build and the football we play. We feel we have respect for the brand of football we show, they respect us in Europe we feel."

Sky Bet: Tottenham v Juventus: Champions League last 16 odds

Arsenal fan group majority votes for Arsene Wenger departure

Support for Arsene Wenger from the Arsenal fanbase appears to be waning after eighty-eight per cent of a prominent supporters group voted in favour of his contract being terminated at the end of the season.

The Arsenal Supporters' Trust canvassed their 1,000 members ahead of their annual general meeting on Monday night, with those who responded overwhelmingly calling for the Frenchman's 21-year tenure to come to a close.

The Gunners lost a fourth game in a row following a 2-1 defeat at Brighton on Sunday which leaves Wenger's side 13 points off the top-four.

A large majority of travelling supporters at the AMEX Stadium chanted "we want Wenger out", with the club 33 points adrift of runaway leaders City and closer to the foot of the Premier League table than the summit.

During the current run, Arsenal were outclassed by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final having already seen their FA Cup defence end with defeat at Nottingham Forest in the third round.

The only remaining hope for silverware, and a return to the Champions League, is to win the Europa League with Arsenal's first leg of their round of 16 clash against AC Milan taking place in the San Siro on Thursday.

Ahead of that game, the Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) held their annual general meeting.

And, following a run of eight defeats in 13 games, the majority of respondents to a members' survey were clear what they wanted to see.

"In a survey conducted online & at tonight's meeting 88 per cent of AST members vote for Arsenal ending Arsene Wenger's contract when position reviewed this summer (seven per cent for staying on and five per cent don't know yet)," a tweet from the AST Twitter account read.

Arsenal went through a similarly poor run of form at the same stage of last season, losing seven in 12 before chief executive Ivan Gazidis said those results would be a "catalyst for change".

In case you missed it...

Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLife

Page last updated at 1655 GMT 06/03/18.

Related football links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

Football Tips