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Nov 28, 2013

Bring on big guns, says Pellegrini

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has said he is not afraid of facing Barcelona or Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League -- and believes any European giant would be worried about facing City.

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The 2012 Premier League champions will finish second in their group unless they can beat defending champions Bayern Munich by three goals in their final group game at the Allianz Arena.

And if Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all win their respective pools, it means the only clubs City could draw in the next stage would be Atletico and Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

But former Real Madrid manager Pellegrini told City’s official website: "I am not afraid of who we are going to play in the next round. It's not a major problem.

"Spain has strong teams, Barcelona and Real Madrid especially, but also Atletico are having a very good season. Anything can happen in two games, but we have a strong squad. People might say it's difficult for us to play against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico or PSG but all of them would not be happy to play against us.

"Of course they are beatable. We are going the right way, and I'm absolutely sure we can beat any other team. I trust this squad a lot, so I hope it can continue in the Champions League."

Pellegrini reiterated his belief that striker Sergio Aguero can join Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the world’s top three players.

He added: "Sergio is a very important striker. I talk with him a lot of times. Messi and Ronaldo are the top players in the world, but at the moment he is not far from both of them.

"Sergio must realise that. He knows he can do better. But he's just 25 years old, and I am sure you will see another player this season. He is always very important for us. I hope this season he can fight Messi and Ronaldo for all the important things."

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