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Mancini asks City to learn fast against Dortmund

Published: Tuesday 2 October 2012, 19.55CET
Manchester City FC's Roberto Mancini has a squad the envy of Europe and a 15-game home run to protect, yet is cautious about Borussia Dortmund – "one of the best teams in Europe".
by Nick Aitken
from Manchester

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Published: Tuesday 2 October 2012, 19.55CET

Mancini asks City to learn fast against Dortmund

Manchester City FC's Roberto Mancini has a squad the envy of Europe and a 15-game home run to protect, yet is cautious about Borussia Dortmund – "one of the best teams in Europe".

Protecting an impressive European home record, Manchester City FC are nevertheless taking nothing for granted ahead of Borussia Dortmund's trip to north-west England. Manager Roberto Mancini knows his team will have to "beat the best" in order to bounce back from a late defeat at Real Madrid CF a fortnight ago, while Jürgen Klopp has his fingers crossed that Dortmund's steep UEFA Champions League learning curve continues.

Manchester City
Manager Robert Mancini

The Champions League is a different competition but the football is the same and it's still 11 versus 11. The problem is you're always playing against other countries' best teams, which means it's always difficult. I hope I can improve my record in the Champions League and I think we are capable of winning it, but we're in a tough group again. We've got five games left and we can progress.

You can't win the Bundesliga without being a strong team and Dortmund have won the last two. They have young players and a fantastic manager, so it's going to be a great game. They've been beating Bayern for the past two years and that's why I think they're one of best teams in Europe. With attacking players like [Marco] Reus, Robert [Lewandowski] and [Mario] Götze, we'll need to do a very good job, restrict their space and avoid making life hard for ourselves.

High expectations are normal in football, but I know just how hard it is to win the Champions League. It's only our second year and the second time we've got the toughest group in the competition. Just as we've improved in the Premier League we'll need time to improve in the Champions League, but we've not got time as we've only five games. We need to stop giving away easy goals like against Real Madrid and improve quickly.

Weekend result
Saturday: Fulham FC 1-2 Manchester City (Petrić 10pen; Agüero 43, Džeko 87)
Hart; Zabaleta, Nastasić, Kompany, Clichy; García (Džeko 86), Barry (Nasri 76), Silva, Y Touré; Agüero, Tévez (Balotelli 66).

• Mancini's side came from behind to maintain their unbeaten start to the season thanks to Edin Džeko's third Premier League goal this term.

Team news
Pablo Zabaleta is likely to keep his place at right-back as Maicon (heel) and Micah Richards (ankle) are both out. Jack Rodwell is contention again following a groin injury.

Dortmund
Coach Jürgen Klopp

It's not really a question of getting used to the Champions League. We've taken a step forward, won other competitions and learned from our defeats in our previous campaign. It'll be a very special occasion, but at end of the day we've come here to get something out of the game. We're very focused on that goal, but if it doesn't happen we'll be able to take that too.

I know City have sent people to watch us on a number of occasions so they won't be surprised by us. We'll have to wait and see, but Mancini is Italian and [three at the back] is obviously a favoured system over there, with the likes of Juve using it successfully. We'll have to see if they go 4-3-3 or 3-4-3.

We saw their game against Arsenal, which was a 1-1 draw, and that was quite important as I think the way Arsenal play is quite similar to us. City can take time to adapt to that type of football, but then again the Champions League is a different competition.

Weekend result
Saturday: Dortmund 5-0 VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach (Reus 35 70, Subotić 40, Gündoğan 79, Błaszczykowski 85)
Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Subotić, Hummels, Schmelzer; Gündoğan, Kehl (Santana 83); Błaszczykowski, Götze (Grosskreutz 71), Reus (Bender 75); Schieber.

• Summer signing Julian Schieber made his first start for the club as Dortmund ended a run of two Bundesliga games without a win with their biggest victory of the season. Robert Lewandowski was left out of the starting XI for the first time in 60 competitive games.

Team news
Aside from defender Patrick Owomoyela, who has not travelled due to a calf problem, Klopp has a fully fit squad to choose from.

Match fact
City's last European home loss was against FC Midtjylland in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup second qualifying round – they are unbeaten in their 15 home matches in European competition since.

Last updated: 27/11/12 21.44CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009510/prematch/preview/index.html#mancini+asks+city+learn+fast+against+dortmund

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