Stamford Bridge

Next Game

Chelsea v Leicester

Saturday, 23 August 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Turf Moor

Last Game

Burnley 1 - 3 Chelsea

Monday, 18 August 2014, 20:00

Barclays Prem

City ready for Barca battle

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini does not believe facing Barcelona is the fearsome prospect it once was.

Last Updated: 16/12/13 at 21:33 Post Comment

Manchester City insist they are confident of beating Barcelona after being pitted against the Catalan side in an eye-catching Champions League draw that will also see Arsenal take on the holders Bayern Munich.

The other two English sides had, on the face of it, easier draws for the first knockout round with Jose Mourinho's Chelsea facing their former striker Didier Drogba's Galatasaray, while David Moyes' Manchester United take on Greek champions Olympiacos.

City may have paid a steep price for failing to top their group but in the build-up to the draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, were the one team that Barcelona had been keen to avoid - the local sports daily El Mundo Deportivo's front page had stated simply "El City, No!"

City boss Manuel Pellegrini does not believe facing Barcelona is the fearsome prospect it once was.

He said: "I think they will be very concerned also. Barcelona is not the team it was two years ago.

"I think it is a beautiful game with two very good teams."

Arsenal beat Bayern 2-0 in Munich at the same stage last season but went out on away goals - the German side having won 3-1 at the Emirates.

Gunners winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain said: "We managed to get a good result away at Bayern last season so that brings back good memories. If you're going to do well in the competition you've got to beat the best teams."

Arsenal now have German international playmaker Mesut Ozil in their ranks and Bayern defender Jerome Boateng admitted: "They're the toughest opponents we could have had. They'll be totally up for it after what happened last year. Both matches will be very intense."

Drogba said he was relishing his match against Chelsea, having scored the equaliser and then the winning penalty against Bayern Munich to win the competition in 2012.

"What a draw... I'm the luckiest man in this competition," he said on his official Instagram account. "In both games I'll be playing home! See you in few months."

Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata said it would be a fond reunion for all concerned.

He told the official Chelsea website: "Didier was a legend here. I guess that he would be very excited about coming back. He did a lot of great things for this club and scored a lot of very important goals. In fact, he scored probably the most important goals in the history of this club."

In other matches, Real Madrid face German opposition in the form of Schalke 04, last year's runners up Borussia Dortmund take on Zenit St Petersburg, AC Milan will play in-form Spanish side Atletico Madrid while Bayer Leverkusen face big-spending Paris Saint-Germain.

John Alexander, Manchester United's club secretary, said the Premier League champions' straightforward draw highlighted how important it had been to win their group.

He told uefa.com: "If you look at the ties Arsenal and City got, that shows why you have got to win the group. Whoever came out of the pot would have been a good one to draw. United are a big club in Greece so we will have a good following over there."


New Sky Bet customers: Free £30 matched bet


Chelsea's John Obi Mikel has attempted to play down the significance of Drogba's return to Stamford Bridge.

He said: "We shouldn't get carried away about him coming back; he is a player that was here for eight years, he won major trophies, he's a big player with a big personality.

"Obviously he had to move on but Chelsea continue, we have to win games, he's coming here with his new club, Galatasaray, who we want to beat, so we shouldn't get carried away about him coming back, we want to win the game."

Mikel added on Chelsea's website: "They are a great team. Didier, Wesley (Sneijder), they have a good team and obviously they have Roberto Mancini who is trying to implement his philosophy and change the way they play.

"It will be tough but it's a game we're looking forward to. It will be good to meet old rivals, who you have played against in the past, as well as old team-mates."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

his is brilliant! All these years of moral ambiguity, grey areas of offence and context..now we have a simple, easy to follow guide to right and wrong. What did you do today? I kicked the face off a panda . Oh well, you didn't rape, kill anyone or abuse a minor, knock yourself champ.

megabrow (cufc)
Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence

I

wonder if he'd feel the same way if he wasn't a white, non-jewish heterosexual male. Because Mackay has basically insulted everyone else!

Jay_D
Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence

C

heers Harry. I was wondering if he'd murdered anyone

Ezy_Rider
Redknapp leaps to Mackay defence

Footer 365

Fresh Mackay claims emerge

Malky Mackay faces further accusations of racism after appearing on Sky Sports News on Friday to apologise for his conduct.

Premier League: Manuel Pellegrini says Liverpool cracked under title race pressure

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes Liverpool cracked under the pressure of last season's title race.

Transfer news: Hull close on Michael Dawson as Tottenham discuss deal for Sevilla's Federico Fazio

Hull City are close to agreeing a deal with Tottenham to sign defender Michael Dawson, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

More Fan Mail For Football365...

'Just p*ss off with your righteous indignation will you. W*nkers.' There's a lot of anger going around for what should have been a sleepy Friday afternoon at F365 Towers...

Man United: One Game To Save Season

They have one match to convince decent players that they are worth joining - over to you, Louis. We also have mails on Malky Mackay, Mario Balotelli and Tim...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property