Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini wants changes made to the way in which groups are drawn for the Champions League, ESPN
City have been pitted against Bayern Munich, Roma and CSKA Moscow, playing the German and Russian champions for the second year in a row. The Premier League title winners received such a tough draw because of a low UEFA coefficient that placed them in the second set of seeds, but Pellegrini believes domestic champions from major leagues should automatically be made first seeds.
“It is for the champions. I think that the champions of England and the champions of the German league, with both leagues being among the best leagues in Europe, they deserve to be in pot one,” he said. “This season we again have Bayern Munich, Manchester City and CSKA Moscow. I do not think it is good to repeat the group exactly as the year before.
“I don’t think it´s good that the teams who play qualification because they finished fourth in their domestic leagues are in pot one, where the strongest teams should be,” Pellegrini continued. “In our group we have three domestic champions, the English champions, the German champions, and the Russian champions. So our group seems a bit unbalanced.
“I think we need to find a modification whereby, for example, all teams who play qualification go into pot four and all champions of their respective leagues and have a lot of points in Europe [a high coefficient] go into pot one.
“There is a need for some modifications to not let something like what happened to us happen again, and then on the other hand for the teams who play preliminaries to not appear with the most important ones in Europe.”
City last year finished second behind Bayern in Group D, beating the Bavarians 3-2 in Munich in the final game of the group, having lost 3-1 to Pep Guardiola’s team in Manchester. City also beat last-placed CSKA 5-2 at the Etihad Stadium and 2-1 in Russia.
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