Pellegrini bullish over Champions League chances


Manuel Pellegrini insists no side will relish facing Manchester City in the Champions League last 16.

City upset the Unibet mobile football odds by reaching the knockout stage for the first time with two matches to spare after thumping CSKA Moscow 5-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

Pellegrini is confident of upsetting one of Europe’s big boys in the next round.

“I’m sure the team we will play against will not be very happy to play against us,” he said.

City had failed to get past the group phase in each of the last two campaigns and lost all three games on the road last term.

While they ensured that would not happen this season with a 3-0 win at Viktoria Plzen, Pellegrini’s side were quickly written off after they were outclassed by holders Bayern Munich in a 3-1 defeat.

City bounced back from that blow with back-to-back victories over CSKA. The most recent win owed much to the performances of Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero, who scored all five goals between them.

Pellegrini believes City have the ability to go a long way in the competition.

“I think we have a strong team. The main target was to qualify for the next round but it is not our only target,” he said.

“I’m really very happy because it is an achievement the club didn’t do in the last two seasons. It is not easy but we have done it two games before the end of the group stage.”

City could still take top spot in Group D. They host Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday before facing a big test of their credentials in Germany on December 10.

“We are going to try and be first in the group. We have to decide the group in Munich against Bayern,” he added.

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