Man City face Juventus at the Etihad on Tuesday night looking to put their poor home form in the Champions League behind them.
City have won just five of their 14 home games in this competition to date, and have yet to fully convince in Europe since taking their place at the top table.
However, they have made a stunning start to the season domestically after winning all five games so far, while they are yet to concede a single goal.
As a result, Manuel Pellegrini will be delighted with what he has seen thus far, but he knows as well as anyone the importance of taking that form into Europe, particularly given the club’s spending this past summer.
The Chilean tactician has already received a huge blow with the news that Sergio Aguero has been ruled out of the contest, although Raheem Sterling and David Silva both returned to training on Monday and their return will be a big bonus.
In contrast to City’s fantastic start, Juve have been slow out of the gate as they have yet to win in three attempts in Serie A.
The defending champions lost their first two games before securing a draw against Chievo, and it is clear that it will take time for them to overcome the losses of Carlos Tevez, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal this summer.
However, they do have Paul Pogba and he has been given a bigger role this season. Former Juve coach Fabio Capello insisted this week that the Frenchman needs to step up on Tuesday night, as reported by Football Italia.
Capello is quoted as saying: “Now Pogba needs to do something important, he has the potential to be a super player but, with the steering wheel in his hands, he must show that he can drive.
“The match against Man City will be an important test for him.”
Pogba could give Fernandinho a problem, and the Brazilian will need to be alert and focused as the former Manchester United youngster will look to take advantage of any space between the lines and make his quality count, just like this…
The likes of Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata will also be a threat, but the onus with be on Juve’s No.10 to make the difference.
Nevertheless, given their form and vulnerability heading into this encounter, the Bianconeri will have to produce something special to avoid another defeat as Pellegrini’s side look in great shape.