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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Silva: UCL progress will be tough

David Silva has admitted that Manchester City have made life difficult for themselves in their debut Champions League campaign, but has backed the team to improve.

David Silva on UCL ambitions

• Mancini eyes Manchester City stay

City have claimed just one point from their opening two Group A games, which has left them third behind Bayern Munich and Napoli and facing an uphill task to advance to the knockout stages.

However, Roberto Mancini's side play bottom-of-the-group Villarreal home and away in their next two matches, starting with a must-win clash at Eastlands on Tuesday night.

And Silva, who boasts plenty of experience of playing in the Champions League, and against Villarreal, from his time at Valencia, believes that while City have shown some naivety in Europe this season, they are ready to kick on and reach the last 16.

"We have got a lot of games under our belt in the league," Silva said. "In the Champions League we have only played two games and those two games were against top sides.

"Maybe it is a case of needing a few more games under our belt in that competition too in order to get the same consistency we have been showing in the league.

"We have made things a little bit hard for ourselves but we can start to improve tonight.''

But Silva, 25, warned his team-mates against taking their Spanish opponents for granted, despite the Yellow Submarine struggling at home and abroad at present.

"They are a great side," Silva said. "They like to keep hold of the ball, they like to pass it around and they can also hit you on the break. We have got to be careful and try to retain as much possession as we can and avoid being hit on the counter.''

Silva, whose outstanding personal form has helped City move to the top of the Premier League table, is likely to return to Mancini's starting line-up having been on the substitutes' bench against Aston Villa on Saturday, while Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko will also move back into the first XI.

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