LONDON — Kevin De Bruyne has rubbished any suggestions that Tottenham’s new stadium gives them a better chance against Manchester City when they meet in the Champions League.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino claimed his side “can achieve more” in their new 62,000-seat home but De Bruyne said they would still be the same dangerous opponent, even if they were playing at Wembley.
“I don’t care about the stadium, I care about the team we play,” the Belgium midfielder told reporters.
“Everybody talks about the stadium like it’s something special — everybody has a stadium, everybody has supporters. They’ll be up for it.
“I don’t think there will be any difference. They’ll probably be a little bit more excited but in the end it’s a stadium with supporters. If they go to Wembley with 80,000 or there with 62,000, it’s going to be the same. It’ll be a tough game but I think we’ll be all right.”
City have the chance to reach the Champions League semifinals for just the second time in their history after going out at this stage last season, also to an English opponent in Liverpool.
Last year, Liverpool won the first leg 3-0 in front of a fervent home crowd but De Bruyne doesn’t believe there will be any comparisons to Tuesday night’s game.
“It’s a different team, different year, different players,” he added. “Last year we had a great season, We didn’t make it beyond the quarterfinals and that’s it.
“Cup games are different. If you’re not at your best then it doesn’t really matter, just try and see the game out. You can’t play 70 games at your top level. I think we did really well.”
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola believes Spurs have a small advantage as his side have played twice since their opponents’ last game, as City chase an unprecedented Quadruple.
“Of course,” he said when asked if Tottenham have an advantage because of their extra time off. “But to fight for everything you have to have calmness.
“If they have six days, congratulations. Maybe one day we will have six days and our opponent will have two or three. It’s the fixtures.
“If we will be out of that competition, we will have maybe more days. It’s what it is, so that is the challenge.”