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Pellegrini picks up City for Dynamo challenge

Manuel Pellegrini has told a Manchester City side who have lost their last three matches to "focus on our tasks" as they visit Dynamo Kyiv looking to reach a first quarter-final.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini in Kyiv
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini in Kyiv ©Getty Images
  • Manchester City seeking to reach UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for first time
  • City have lost last three games but Manuel Pellegrini relishes "important challenges"
  • Dynamo Kyiv are in last 16 for first time since 1999/2000
  • City in knockout stage as group winners for first time
  • Serhiy Rebrov says visitors' recent struggles "mean nothing"

Possible lineups
Dynamo Kyiv: Shovkovskiy; Danilo Silva, Khacheridi, Dragovic, Vida; Rybalka, Garmash, Buyalskiy, González, Yarmolenko; Teodorczyk.
Out: Antunes (suspended), Morozyuk (knee)
Doubtful: Yarmolenko (knee), Rybka (unspecified), Sydorchuk (unspecified)
Misses next match if booked: Danilo Silva, Rybalka, Korzun, Buyalskiy

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernandinho, Fernando; Silva, Touré, Sterling; Agüero.
Out: Delph (calf), De Bruyne (knee), Bony (calf), Navas (hamstring)
Doubtful: Sagna (knee), Mangala (hamstring)
Misses next match if booked: none

Serhiy Rebrov, Dynamo coach
City have scored more than any other team in the Premier League [alongside Leicester] and their recent defeats mean nothing. Their squad, even without all the injury absentees, includes many top players. In fact, all their players are world class. Their domestic form doesn't matter as the Champions League is a completely different competition, and we saw their priorities at the weekend.

We have analysed their strengths and weaknesses and we know how powerful their attack is, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Sergio Agüero – who is worth half of their team right now. With Vincent Kompany back, the defence has become much tougher. However, City also have some weaknesses and we've explained them to the players. I hope they will use that knowledge.

All our players are fit and ready to fight, including Andriy Yarmolenko. He's a very important player for us but if we see he's not 100%, we'll have to remember we still have the second leg. Júnior Moraes [who had an injury during the last training camp] is preparing with the rest of the team.

Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City manager
We will have a similar squad to the one that played the last game in the Premier League. We had to make a difficult decision about the FA Cup game against Chelsea [on Sunday]. We had only 13 first-team players available and we could not afford to lose more, so we had to sacrifice one of the tournaments. But now we have the intention to continue in all competitions. We won our group in the Champions League and we'll try to go as far as we can.

Manchester City training in Kyiv
Manchester City training in Kyiv©Getty Images

[Leaving the club at the end of this season] is not a problem. All the players understand that we have very important challenges in the Champions League and the Premier League, and we have to play well in every match. It's very easy for us because we have to focus on our tasks.

I'm not thinking about the future, only about this match. The most important thing for me is our performance here. I want my players show all they can. We understand it's only the first game but we need to be at our best to make our task easier for the second leg.

Weekend results
Dynamo have not played since beating Maccabi Tel-Aviv on matchday six.

Chelsea 5-1 Manchester City (Costa 35, Willian 48, Cahill 53, Hazard 67, Traoré 89; Faupala 37)
Chelsea eased into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable win against a much-changed City side. Pellegrini rested a number of regulars and handed five academy players – Tosin Adarabioyo, Bersant Celina, Aleix García, Manuel García and David Faupala – full debuts. Diego Costa broke the deadlock before Faupala gave City hope 94 seconds later, but the hosts made their experience count as Willian, Gary Cahill, Hazard and substitute Bertrand Traoré all struck.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Dynamo Kyiv: WWWWWW
Manchester City: LLLWWW

Reporter's view: Igor Lynnik
Given this is Dynamo's first competitive outing since early December, their main task is to keep a clean sheet. The home team will play on the break and avoid taking risks, just as they did in the 0-0 group stage draw with Chelsea in Kyiv. Physical condition may decide matters; City's match fitness could tell in the closing stages, something Rebrov's men must be wary of.

Did you know?
Goals from Andriy Shevchenko and Oleh Gusev gave Dynamo a 2-1 victory on aggregate when the clubs met in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 16. Find out more in our match background.