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Rebrov talks up quality of off-colour City

Dynamo Kiev boss Serhiy Rebrov expects a stern test from Manchester City in the last 16 of the Champions League despite the Premier League club’s poor recent form.

City arrived in the Ukrainian capital having lost their last three matches in all competitions, including home defeats to title rivals Leicester City and Tottenham.

The slump continued on Sunday with a 5-1 FA Cup thrashing at Chelsea, where manager Manuel Pellegrini controversially selected a side with five teenage full debutants to preserve key members of his injury-ravaged squad for the first leg against Kiev.

By contrast, Rebrov’s men are contesting their first competitive match since concluding a successful group campaign in December.

The former Tottenham forward maintains City boast plenty of players to cause problems for his side, with a particular focus on their attacking prowess.

“City have scored more than any other team in the Premier League [alongside Leicester] and their recent defeats mean nothing,” he said.

“Their squad, even without all the injury absentees, includes many top players. In fact, all their players are world class.

“Their domestic form doesn’t matter as the Champions League is a completely different competition, and we saw their priorities at the weekend.

“We have analysed their strengths and weaknesses and we know how powerful their attack is, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Sergio Aguero – who is worth half of their team right now.

“With Vincent Kompany back, the defence has become much tougher. However, City also have some weaknesses and we’ve explained them to the players. I hope they will use that knowledge.”

Rebrov is hopeful his own attacking jewel, winger Andriy Yarmolenko, will be available to play a part at NSK Olimpiyskiy following struggles with a knee complaint.

“All our players are fit and ready to fight, including Andriy Yarmolenko,” he added.

“He’s a very important player for us, but if we see he’s not 100 per cent, we’ll have to remember we still have the second leg.”

Tue 23 Feb, 2016
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