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Champions League preview – Manchester City vs. Sevilla

Manuel Pellegrini Manchester City

JS74941729It is set to be a magical night at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium when Manchester City role into town for their Champion’s League group stage tie against Sevilla.

The two met just over two weeks ago at the Etihad, and thanks to an injury-time strike from Kevin De Bruyne, City won 2-1.

The spotlight will no doubt be on the Manchester club as they seek to piece together a qualifying campaign which so far, considering the money spent and quality in the squad, has been largely unconvincing.

The Andalusian club are worth their weight in this competition, and have all the tools needed to give Manuel Pellegrini’s side a bloody nose if they’re not ready on Tuesday night.

Since 2003, Sevilla have won eight trophies, including five European triumphs – albeit not in Europe’s premier competition – but nonetheless still no mean feat. And this is double the amount of trophies that City have won in that time.

The Spanish club has managed to consistently compete and win trophies while balancing domestic duties in a way Manchester City’s board of directors will no doubt be envious of.

Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, commonly known as Monchi, is the Director of Football at the club and since he took the reins in 2003 he has spotted, signed, and sold some of footballs biggest names whilst steering it through an economical crises.

Monchi has helped promote or sign: Freddie Kanoute, Julio Baptista, Luis Fabiano, Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Jose Antonio Reyes, Andro Palop, Adriano, Renato, Gary Medel, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Aleix Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, Diego Lopez, Carlos Bacca, Alberto Moreno, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo, and Seydou Keita.

Not all of these players have been sold, but you cannot argue about the blend of talent, verve, and sheer skill that has passed through the doors at Sevilla, and all of whom are worth an estimated profit of around 240 million Euros.

The club’s approach is not without risk – and it will no doubt be the source of a few headaches for coach Unai Emery – such as who they should sell, when, how much for, who to replace him with, is this the right guy to fit in with the coaches plans, all questions that heap a huge amount of pressure on Monchi’s shoulders and makes the margin for error minuscule.

There is no such margin for City, with the television money from the Premier League endless pot their wealthy owner’s bring to the club means they shop in a different league, and there is no shame in that.

The pricey acquisitions of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling to the club during the summer was smart business, and they will be expected to ensure City take a leap forward in terms of success in Europe during their time at the Etihad.

This is a crucial match, which may determine who qualifies to the next round, as Juventus look virtually assured of qualification already, with Sevilla or City fighting over the final qualification place.

If Sevilla can qualify, then maybe they’ll start to enjoy more of the spotlight.

 

Picture from www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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