Pellegrini prepared for Arsenal after UCL tie

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini admits he is preparing for Tuesday's Champions League Group D match at Bayern Munich with thoughts of the meeting with Arsenal.

Manuel Pellegrini

City have already secured qualification for the knockout stages of the continental competition and while they can still move up a place to secure top spot in the section ahead of current leaders Bayern, the odds look stacked against them doing it.

The Blues then host Premier League table-toppers Arsenal, who they trail by six points, on Saturday.

And asked on Monday - at his press conference to preview the Bayern match - if he regarded the Gunners clash as the priority and was thinking of resting players on Tuesday, Pellegrini said: "Tomorrow we will see the XI that starts.

"Of course, it was one of the most important things to achieve - qualifying for the next round (already) and not deciding that here in Munich.

"So we will see tomorrow.

"Of course we are thinking about both things - firstly to do a very good game tomorrow, which is very important for us, and also what will happen in the tough game we have against Arsenal on Saturday."

Certainly it appears goalkeeper Joe Hart will start against Bayern in place of Costel Pantilimon.

Hart, previously City's established number one, was dropped from the team in October after making a string of high-profile errors, which included mistakes in the 3-1 home loss to Bayern at the Etihad Stadium earlier that month.

If he faces the German side again on Tuesday, it will be only his second appearance in the Blues' last 10 games.

It has been a worrying time for the England international this season, building up to next summer's World Cup.

And Pellegrini has no doubt about the potential significance of the contest at the Allianz Arena for Hart.

"For him it is a very important game," the Chilean said, before adding: "I am not thinking about the past, just thinking about the future. I trust in him."

When then asked about the danger of Hart's confidence having been damaged by his time out of the side and that affecting his performances for club and country, Pellegrini looked to draw a line under the matter.

"I don't think this press conference is for talking about Joe Hart," he said.

"I have said in other weeks what I think about him and his performances. Today is not the day to analyse this."

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