Manchester City cannot compare to Barcelona - Pep Guardiola

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MANCHESTER -- Manchester City are on the brink of reaching the quarterfinals of the Champions League but Pep Guardiola has said they cannot be considered to be on the level of Barcelona.

City lead 4-0 after their first leg away victory in Basel and are set to reach the quarterfinals for just the second time in the club's history but Guardiola warned that there are the other clubs have far more European experience for City to be considered favourites ahead of them.

"[Barcelona] won a lot in the past, we are new," he told a news conference ahead of the second leg. "We are new here, we won now one title but it is not worth comparing.

"It is not good for comparing with that team because they dominated for the last decade, with different managers, different players, every season.

"We won just the first title. To think about joining these kind of teams you have to be there for many years and we won just one title."

City's hopes of a quadruple were ended after their FA Cup exit to League One side Wigan Athletic, during which Fabian Delph was sent off, and Guardiola warned than any similar mistakes would just as easily end their hopes of European success.

"We are almost in the quarterfinals, we are almost champions of the Premier League but we are not in the quarterfinals we are not champions," he added. "That is why we have to be calm. That is the best advice I can give to my players.

"In terms of the Champions League it's a dream for all the players to be there. But it will be just second time in the whole history to be in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

"Talking about favourites to win it, it's an honour [to be there] because we don't have a legacy.

"If what happened in Wigan after 44 minutes, [Fabian Delph's] red card you don't win the Champions League. Sometimes it's not about how you play."

City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan said the players are flattered to be considered among the favourites but agrees with his manager that talk of winning the trophy is premature.

"Everyone has his own opinion of the way we play, we always hear it is quite impressive but at the end it is our style and it is the way we want to play for what we want to achieve in every single game," he said.

"The results of the last games, it doesn't matter if it is Champions League or Premier League or other competitions, because there are a lot of people like to see us at the same level as Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich.

"But we still feel like we need to compete with these teams -- we are not there yet. If we have to play one day against them, then we want to be ready."

Guardiola is close to having a full squad back with Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho close to returning while Benjamin Mendy, who has been out for six months with cruciate knee ligament injury, is back working with the first team.

"Fernandinho is much, much better, the same as Raheem Sterling," Guardiola said. "Maybe tomorrow or maybe at Stoke City they will be ready.

"Mendy is back but of course after six months we have to be careful."