Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists he is not focused on his side’s Champions League semi-final encounter with Real Madrid, as the club also look to secure a top four finish in the Premier League.
City reached their first-ever semi-final in Europe’s premier club competition this week thanks to a hard-fought 3-2 aggregate success over Paris Saint-Germain, and they will now face the ten-time champions in the last four.
The first-leg of the tie is set to take place at the Etihad Stadium on April 26, with the return leg scheduled for the Bernabeu eight days later, but Pellegrini insists his side are not thinking about the tie, as they have important league fixtures to come before.
He said: “If I will be refreshing maybe some positions in the next game, [it’s] not because I’m thinking of Real Madrid. It’s because between now and the end of May we need to play eight games in one month.”
The Citizens showed no signs of switching off as they secured a 3-0 victory against Chelsea on Saturday, a result that helped consolidate their place in the top four.
The Manchester club face an away trip to relegation-threatened Newcastle and a home match against Stoke before they take on Los Blancos and the Chilean knows it is important that he rotates his squad as the fixtures begin to mount up.
He added: “It’s important to make substitutes, but not thinking about Real Madrid.”
City are available at 1.53 to secure a victory in their next match against Newcastle, who are on offer at 5.50, while the draw is priced at 4.00.