Patrick Vieira believes Manchester City are strong contenders to win the Champions League if they can keep stars such as Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero fully fit.
The former Arsenal midfielder, 39, finished his playing career with City and was in charge of the club’s Under-21 team prior to taking charge at New York City, the MLS franchise owned by the Premier League side’s Abu Dhabi backers.
Vieira feels the form and fitness of the spine of Manuel Pellegrini’s side – Joe Hart, Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Aguero – will be crucial as they look to progress past the Champions League’s last 16 for the first time.
City will meet Dynamo Kiev in the first knockout round, with the first leg played in Ukraine on February 24.
“The club has been working hard to bring top players to win the Champions League,” Vieira said after being handed the Football Writers’ Association tribute award.
“The details will be having all the players fit and 100 per cent because if Joe Hart is at his best, Vincent Kompany stays fit, Yaya Toure is performing at his best and with David and Sergio, they will have a big chance of winning the Champions League.
“When Sergio is at his best he can make the difference, he is a top player, one of the best in the world and City are fortunate to have a player of that calibre in the team.
“Yaya is one of the best around too and one of my favourite players of all time is David.”
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