Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City won’t think about Bayern Munich when they meet Swansea City on Saturday. The Blues face a do-or-die UEFA Champions League clash with the German giants just three days after the fixture against Garry Monk’s men.
Pellegrini has put the attention to importance of City getting back to winning ways in the Premier League before turning their focus to Europe.
“We are not thinking about Europe. We are thinking about the Premier League. We must try to discount the points we have behind the leaders. It is very important to try to win. After we finish the game against Swansea we are going to start thinking about Bayern Munich.”
Manchester City have won only two of their previous six games in all competitions, while they have also dropped 12 points in their last nine top-flight encounters and are behind leaders Chelsea by eight points. In-form Argentine striker Sergio Aguero will once again lead the line, City will still start as big favourites to overcome Gary Monk’s men.
Serigio Aguero has managed to find the net 12 times in 11 league matches so far this season, with only nine of those appearances coming from the start.
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has been passed fit for the champions. The key centre-back missed City’s last game against QPR and Belgium’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Wales with a calf injury but returned to training this week.
Eliaquim Mangala has also suffered a knock but playmaker David Silva (knee), left-back Aleksandar Kolarov and striker Edin Dzeko (both calf) have all been ruled out.
The 23-year-old still retains the full faith of his manager, though.
“Maybe Mangala, for different reasons – because he started (training with us) later, because he didn’t make all the positions with us, because we work in a different way here – he is not in his best moment. But I am absolutely sure we bought the right player because I think he is a very good defender. He is a young defender with a lot of experience.”
“If you remember, the criticism with (Martin) Demichelis was absolutely the same as the criticism of Mangala. Maybe they need more time to settle here in the Premier League but I am sure we will see the great defender we have.”
Swansea will welcome Jonjo Shelvey after the midfielder missed the 2-1 home victory over Arsenal before the international break after being sent off at Everton and should replace on-loan Spurs midfielder Tom Carroll at the Etihad Stadium.
Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer are back in the squad after missing the Arsenal win with groin strains, as is Jordi Amat who has been out for two months with knee trouble, but Argentina centre-half Federico Fernandez is sidelined by a calf injury. And with lethal in-form striker Wilfried Bony handing the Welsh club a further boost this week after signing a contract extension, the Ivorian will be relishing the chance to add to the two goals he scored against City in his only appearance against them.
- Manchester City have won four and lost just one of the six Premier League meetings with Swansea City.
- Despite their inconsistent form, this is still Manchester City’s fourth best start to a Premier League season and they have one point more than last season after 11 matches.
- Swansea have conceded the highest percentage of second half goals in the Premier League this season (73%). via Opta
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Clichy, Navas, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Jovetic, Aguero.
Swansea: Fabianski, Rangel, Bartley, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey, Routledge, Sigurdsson, Montero, Bony.
Manchester City 2 – 1 Swansea