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Pellegrini puts Bayern game on back-burner as Gunners loom

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 10, 2013

By Phil Medlicott

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini in Munich yesterday. Picture: Matthias Schrader/AP

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini in Munich yesterday. Picture: Matthias Schrader/AP

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in Munich

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is preparing for tonight's UEFA Champions League Group D match at Bayern Munich with thoughts of the Premier League meeting with Arsenal that follows it very much in mind.

City have already secured qualification for the knock-out stages of the continental competition and, while they can still move up a place to secure top spot in the section ahead of current leaders Bayern, the odds look stacked against them doing it.

The Blues will host Premier League table-toppers Arsenal, who they trail by six points, on Saturday. Asked last night if he regarded the clash with the Gunners as his priority and was thinking of resting players in Germany, Pellegrini said: "Tomorrow, we will see the XI that starts.

"Of course, it was one of the most important things to achieve – qualifying for the next round already and not deciding that here in Munich. So we will see tomorrow.

"Of course we are thinking about both things – firstly to do a very good game tomorrow, which is very important for us, and also what will happen in the tough game we have against Arsenal on Saturday."

Certainly, it appears that goalkeeper Joe Hart will start against Bayern in place of Costel Pantilimon.

Hart, previously City's established number one, was dropped from the team in October after making a string of high-profile errors, which included mistakes in the 3-1 home loss to Bayern at the Etihad Stadium earlier that month.

If he faces the German side again tonight, it will be only his second appearance in the Blues' last ten games. "For him, it is a very important game," Pellegrini said

City will be without Yaya Toure and Gael Clichy. Midfielder Toure is suspended and full-back Clichy (foot) has joined an injury list that also features Stevan Jovetic and Matija Nastasic.

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