Barcelona jinx: Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini hoping to snap Pep Guardiola streak

Oct 01 2013, 17:01 IST
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SummaryManuel Pellegrini's record against former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is a sorry one...

Manuel Pellegrini's record against former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is a sorry one but he gets another chance to finally put one over his tormentor when Manchester City host holders Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday.

During his time in La Liga the Chilean was in the opposing dugout to former Barcelona coach Guardiola on eight occasions and only avoided defeat once when his Villarreal side drew 3-3 in the Nou Camp in the 2008-09 season.

His brief stay at Real Madrid included two El Classico defeats by Guardiola's Barca and the trend continued at Malaga where he soaked up another four losses against the Catalans.

The furniture has been re-arranged in European soccer, however, and Pellegrini will feel his expensively-assembled Man City side will start as equals to Bayern who have yet to really spark under Guardiola even if they are unbeaten.

Pellegrini was head-hunted by City at the end of last season partly because of his tactical nous in the Champions League in which he had Villarreal and Malaga punching above their weight.

He has never failed to survive the group stage in his previous Champions League campaigns and City's opening day 3-0 win away to Viktoria Plzen has raised hopes that they can finally make their mark on the competition having twice fallen short of the knockout rounds.

Despite that emphatic victory in the Czech Republic Pellegrini's opening weeks in charge of City have been far from smooth with two defeats in their opening six Premier League games, the latest a 3-2 loss at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Pellegrini was baffled by his side's loss at Villa, having dominated for long spells, but said it would have no adverse effect on morale ahead of a visit from the European champions.

"It's always better to play in the Champions League when you have won the Premier League game before but the team is playing with trust and confidence so I hope we can do a good match again next Wednesday," he said.

"In general, I was very happy with the way we played."

City could be boosted by the return of midfielder David Silva who has been out since the end of August.

Guardiola's start at treble-winning Bayern has been efficient rather than spectacular with Saturday's 1-0 win at home to VfL Wolfsburg indicative of their form so far.

"It is very difficult at this moment to improve with Bayern because they won the last three competitions but

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