Man City won't risk weakened side vs. Dynamo Kiev - Manuel Pellegrini
MANCHESTER -- Manuel Pellegrini says he will play his strongest possible side against Dynamo Kiev despite Manchester City having a 3-1 lead from their Champions League round-of-16 first leg.
Dynamo must score at least three times at the Etihad Stadium if they are to reach the quarterfinals but Pellegrini insists he will not take the Ukrainian side lightly.
Yaya Toure is available again after missing Saturday's 0-0 draw with Norwich City with a heel injury while David Silva is likely to start despite playing through the pain of a niggling ankle injury in recent weeks.
Pellegrini told a news conference: "The most important thing is to know we are not yet qualified for the next stage so tomorrow we must be focused. We must be concentrated.
"We play against a big team that knows how to play these types of games. For me that is the first target of the club. After that we play in the next stage.
"I talked with the players about what we must do tomorrow. We are going to play starting at 0-0 and to try to be a better team than Dynamo here at home, and it's the mentality we have to have tomorrow.
"We are going to have a strong squad. We need to win the game, so tomorrow we will put on the pitch the strongest squad we can do."
Victory would see City reach the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time and Pellegrini, who took Villarreal to the semifinals in 2006 and Malaga to the last eight in 2013, believes his side can go further.
He said: "Yes, of course I think we can do it. Talking about my personal experience, I did it with another club Malaga and Villarreal, the quarterfinals with both clubs and one of them to the semifinal.
"It doesn't matter against who we must play, the important thing is to be in a good moment with a good individual performance, and play as a team in the way we know how to do it. If we do it I think we can play against all the big teams with big players."
Meanwhile, Pellegrini is refusing to give up on the Premier League title despite his side trailing leaders Leicester City by nine points.
City have the Manchester derby coming up at the weekend, which could put City's fourth place under threat from both Manchester United and West Ham, with Slaven Bilic's side currently just two points behind.
He added: "We have another 27 points to play for in the Premier League. You never know in football what can happen but our mentality is to try to win the derby on Sunday after we finish the game of tomorrow and we are not thinking, we never think, in a negative way.
"We always think that if we have chances we must try to finish as near the top of the table as we can."
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him @jonnysmiffy.