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Pellegrini: Best Madrid preparation is beating Stoke

Manuel Pellegrini wants to tune up for Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid with a dominant Premier League win over Stoke City – a clash he will have an almost entirely fit squad for.

David Silva, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna will all return for Saturday’s match at the Etihad Stadium, with Samir Nasri the only player Pellegrini will not be able to call upon.

Vincent Kompany is expected to feature again, having come through 90 minutes at Newcastle United in midweek, and the City manager is refusing to look beyond the visit of Mark Hughes’ side.

He said: “It’s very important we’re in the Champions League semi-finals but that doesn’t mean we’re not worried about the Premier League.

“The best way to prepare for Tuesday is to beat Stoke, to score goals, keep a clean sheet and that will help us prepare.

“We need three points to keep our options to finish third.

“If you want to be a big team you must want to be in every competition. The semi-final is big but we must also finish high.” 

Kompany looked rusty at St James’ Park – his first appearance in a month – but Pellegrini was positive on his skipper’s condition.

“Vincent felt very good after the game, he doesn’t have any problems,” Pellegrini added.

Fri 22 Apr, 2016
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