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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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.

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

I

love you Degsy, more worringly so does my wife.

hurler
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

Footer 365

Radamel Falcao to leave Manchester United after loan ends

Manchester United have confirmed Radamel Falcao will return to AS Monaco following his season-long loan with the club.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he'll leave if told by club owners

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said he knows the pressure is on him and will resign if asked to by the club's owners.

Manuel Pellegrini sure he will stay on as Manchester City manager

Manuel Pellegrini has "no doubt" he will be Manchester City manager next season, despite failing to win any silverware this year.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

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