Man City seeks statement win in Seville

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Kevin de Bruyne AFP PHOTO

Kevin de Bruyne AFP PHOTO

SEVILLE, Spain: Premier League leaders Manchester City travel to Europa League holders Sevilla on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) intent on proving they won’t be Champions League flops once more this season.

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Kevin de Bruyne’s injury time strike snatched a 2-1 win for City when the sides met a fortnight ago in Manchester to put Manuel Pellegrini’s men in the driving seat along with Juventus to qualify from a devilishly difficult group also featuring Borussia Monchenglabach.

Despite their riches, City have failed to make it beyond the last-16 in the Champions League, crashing out to Barcelona in each of the last two seasons after being beaten to first place in their group by Bayern Munich.

After a disastrous start to the campaign in a 2-1 loss at home to Juventus, City have given themselves a chance of topping the group with back-to-back wins to close to within a point of the Italian champions.

And Yaya Toure is aware that City must begin to make an impact in the Champions League if they are to be taken seriously by Europe’s elite.

“When I came to this club I came to lift trophies,” he told the club’s website.

“We know that to be a big club we must continue winning important trophies and making our imprint in Europe.

The visitors will again be without the injured Sergio Aguero, whilst David Silva remains doubtful due to the sprained ankle he suffered playing for Spain three weeks ago.

Raheem Sterling is expected to replace Nigerian wonderkid Kelechi Iheanacho after the English international was rested from the start of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Norwich.

Sevilla have injury problems of their own as top scorer Kevin Gameiro misses out due to a hamstring problem picked up in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Villarreal.

The Spanish side have won their last 10 European games at the Sanchez Pizjuan on their way to winning back-to-back Europa League titles.

However, coach Unai Emery was highly critical of his squad for losing their focus after their latest league defeat saw them slip eight points off the top four.

Fernando Llorente is the favorite to deputize for Gameiro after netting just his second goal for the club at the weekend.

And influential Argentine midfielder Ever Banega could also return should he shrug off an ankle knock in time.

AFP

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