Pellegrini: CSKA matches key

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admits his side's back-to-back games with CSKA Moscow could decide if they will advance to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Last Updated: 23/10/13 at 16:30 Post Comment

Manuel Pellegrini: Back-to-back CSKA games crucial

Manuel Pellegrini: Back-to-back CSKA games crucial

City travel to the Russian capital on Wednesday looking to bounce back from the 3-1 home defeat to defending champions Bayern Munich in their last Group D outing.

CSKA have also lost to the Germans in this season's competition, while both the Muscovites and City have defeated Czech outsiders Viktoria Plzen.

That means next week's match and the return game at the Etihad on 5 November are likely to prove crucial if they are to avoid the embarrassment of dropping out of the Champions League at the group stage for the third season in succession.

But Pellegrini refuses to save players for European action and remains determined to pick his strongest team in as many matches as possible

"I think that 50 per cent of the chances to go into the second round of the Champions League will be playing next Wednesday in Russia," he said.

"For all the managers the best thing is to keep an 11 starting when you are winning and playing well.

"But I think we must be a competitive team all year and it is very difficult to keep the same 11 starting.

"There is no priority. For me it is very important for the team to qualify for the round of 16 in the Champions League but also the Premier League is very important."

City travel to Moscow four days after the trip to West Ham in the Premier League and four days before they travel to title rivals Chelsea.

They then face a trip to St James' Park to take on Newcastle in the Capital One Cup on 30 October.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

t's wrong to be making a joke out of Bender's name at the expense of gay people. It's the kind of childish, uncivilised thing that Football365 would deride and ridicule if it was another media outlet saying. Why is there a need for jokes like this? Does it make your writers feel like men? F365 might suggest that I 'lighten up', but it is genuinely traumatic for people who have been oppressed all their lives to be the butt of jokes, and to be told...

anamsport
The Beeriod Gossip

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

Footer 365

Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0: Gunners win Community Shield

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored as Arsenal won the Community Shield with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea, with Arsene Wenger finally beating Jose Mourinho.

Angel Di Maria poised for medical ahead of move to PSG

Angel Di Maria is set to undergo a medical with Paris Saint-Germain ahead of a proposed £44m move from Manchester United.

Mourinho plans to manage into his 70s

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes he is a better manager than he was 10 years ago - and he wants to continue until he's in his 70s.

Mail Box

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company