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Preview: Manchester City v CSKA Moskva

FC Bayern München top Group E but the race for second will go to the wire says Manuel Pellegrini, who wants his side to prove their credentials by beating PFC CSKA Moskva.

Manuel Pellegrini blows his whistle during training on Tuesday
Manuel Pellegrini blows his whistle during training on Tuesday ©AFP/Getty Images

City boss Manuel Pellegrini predicts a tight finish to Group E
Three points separate CSKA, City and second-placed Roma
Leonid Slutski admits that on paper CSKA cannot compare to the other teams
Pontus Wernbloom and Alan Dzagoev back after three-game bans
Sergio Agüero has scored nine goals in his last eight matches for City

Possible lineups
City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Fernandinho, Milner, Touré, Navas; Džeko, Agüero.
Out: Kolarov (calf), Lampard (unspecified)
Doubtful: Mangala (unspecified)

CSKA: Akinfeev; Mário Fernandes, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, Schennikov; Wernbloom, Natcho, Tošić, Eremenko, Dzagoev; Musa.
Out: Elm (stomach), Panchenko (knee)

Manuel Pellegrini, City manager
It's impossible to say for sure, but I think this group will be decided in the last game against Roma. We will see what happens. We are going to try and win our two games at home and see what the other teams do.

With our three games in the Champions League so far, they were strange matches. We were very unlucky to lose to Bayern in the most difficult game of the group in the last minute with a rebound from a set piece. After that, here against Roma we didn't play well, and Roma were in a very good moment. And in Russia I think we played very well, maybe we should have taken the three points. But we have time to change this and I hope we will.

Last year we went one stage further than the year before, and I hope this year we are going to continue to improve. We first have to finish the group then we can analyse where we are. There are a lot of times when teams have qualified with very few points and gone on to win the Champions League, so we will have to see where we are in December.

Bebras Natcho (L) after making it 2-2 on matchday two
Bebras Natcho (L) after making it 2-2 on matchday two©AFP/Getty Images

Leonid Slutski, CSKA coach
Manchester City are a strong team; they have been a strong team for many years now. The presence or absence of one player or another does not make much difference.

In fact, I don't think we can compare ourselves to any of the clubs in this group because we are operating at a different level. We have had three matches and we had one draw – at the moment we are just at different levels. Bayern are obviously group favourites. We have a chance [of second], though. We will see how things develop.

Weekend results
City 1-0 Manchester United FC (Agüero 63)
CSKA 0-1 FC Zenit (Javi García 7)

Form guide (all competitions)

Match facts
• In four games against Russian clubs, how many goals has Sergio Agüero scored? Find out in our extensive match background.