Pellegrini Plays Down Spurs Clash, Welcomes Back Kompany

Pellegrini Plays Down Spurs Clash, Welcomes Back Kompany

Manuel Pellegrini has played down Manchester City’s Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspurs at the Etihad on Sunday.

City will hope to bounce back against Spurs, after surprisingly losing 3-1 at home to table toppers Leicester City last weekend.

And speaking ahead of the tie, Pellegrini, in his pre-match press conference, said it is a very important game for them, but it wouldn’t decide their fate in the title race.

“It’s not a decisive game but a very important game – after we play for another 36 points.

“Spurs are a good team, they are involved in the title with 13 games to go,” Pellegrini said.

The Chilean tactician lamented City’s injury problems and also hailed the performance of his team so far this season. He however revealed that captain Vincent Kompany will return after a lenthy lay-off.

“Sagna, Mangala, Delph, Nasri, Navas, De Bruyne and Bony are out. David Silva is okay. Vincent is fit to play.

“It’s difficult with so many injuries in the same position. We must try to manage with the players we have.

“We will see what the team is tomorrow. We’re not just thinking about one player and one game, we are in a lot of competitions.

“Maybe we have a lot of criticism when we don’t play well but I’m happy with the squad over the whole season.”

Pellegrini, who will be replaced by Pep Guardiola at the end of the season, complained about the timing of City’s FA Cup game away to Chelsea.

“I thought the correct day (for the Chelsea FA Cup) was the Saturday as we have to play Kiev on the Wednesday.

“The FA must protect teams playing in Europe as everyone wants good results. I thought it was logical to play one day before.”

He also called on clubs to look into the idea of increasing ticket prices.

“One very important thing for the Premier League is to be concerned with their fans.

“It’s very dangerous to have high prices. It’s an important thing for clubs to have a normal price so fans keeping coming.”