Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has controversially admitted that his side are not good enough to win the Champions League, as the league leaders prepare for their trip to Anfield this weekend, with Paddy Power offering a unique free bets cashback on the game.
City’s 2-1 midweek loss at Napoli means they must beat Bayern Munich and hope Villarreal at least draw against the Italians in the last round of matches.
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But even if they manage that, Mancini believes his team are some way short of the teams with Champions League experience by the bucket load.
“We should be realistic,” said Mancini. “I do not think we have a team to win the Champions League this season.
“Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Inter Milan all have more experience than us.”
In team news ahead of Sunday afternoon’s showdown with Liverpool, the Barclays Premier League runaway leaders have no fresh injury or suspension concerns with Mario Balotelli having recovered from a fever.
Mancini is likely to chop and change a little, however, with the Italian keen to keep his legion of world class stars fresh and happy, and Gareth Barry, Samir Nasri, Micah Richards and Sergio Aguero will be pushing for a start after being left on the bench at the San Paulo on Tuesday.
For Liverpool, boss Kenny Dalglish will more-than-likely stick with a winning line-up after the Reds recorded a morale-boosting 2-1 win at Chelsea last weekend.
But captain and talisman Steven Gerrard is still not available for selection after suffering an ankle infection and fellow Reds stalwart Jamie Carragher, who returned to the squad for last Sunday’s win at Stamford Bridge, may have to settle for a place on the bench again.
Sunday’s contest has been given the marquee Sunday 4pm slot by Sky Sports and with City desperate to bounce back from their European disappointment, the Anfield clash promises to live up to its billing. And some.