Champions League: Can Manchester City do better than Arsenal and Chelsea in their last 16 first leg?
Manchester City take on Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev this evening in their Champions League last 16 tie looking to fare better than Arsenal and Chelsea did in their respective ties.
Arsenal lost 2-0 at the Emirates to holders Barcelona last night following Chelsea's 2-1 defeat against PSG the previous week.
The Gunners must now go to the Nou Camp with a near impossible task, with Arsene Wenger even admitting that Barcelona are '95%' through. Chelsea do
City will face Kiev this evening knowing they are probably the Premier League's best hope of progressing to the last eight and beyond.
When the last 16 draw was made City's tie was seen as the most favourable. Arsenal paid the price for yet again failing to top their group by being drawn against the Catalan giants, whilst Chelsea could count themselves unlucky to draw PSG, who were by far the toughest of the potential teams they could face.
Chelsea's massive struggles in defending their Premier League title, with them currently in the bottom half, also added to the feeling that they would not be have as much of an impact in Europe as in previous seasons.
So attention now turns to Manchester City, as manager Manuel Pellegrini continues to juggle a Premier League title with cup runs both domestic and European.
He may well be slightly relieved then to have gone out of the FA Cup at the weekend, fielding a very youthful side who were put to the sword by Chelsea 5-1.
In fact, when City face Liverpool in the League Cup final at the weekend, it will be the fourth different competition they have contested in their last four games.
With Pellegrini paving way for Guardiola in the summer, he will want to end his tenure at City with at least one other trophy, and the League Cup could be in his hands this time next week.
However, if he is to leave City with it's owners perhaps questioning their decision, a tilt at the Champions League proper is the only way forward.
Kiev are by no means a poor side but with the quality in City's ranks, and their ambitions of joining Europe's elite, they should be looking to progress, though they will be happy to return from Ukraine with any result that sets up the chance to finish the job back home.