It is fair to say that Manchester City have not had the best of seasons.
Yes; the likes of Sergio Aguero and Yaya Touré have looked unstoppable at times and Samir Nasri's heroics helped the Sky Blues to the Champions League round of 16.
However - given that they sit seven points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea and no longer stand a chance of winning the FA Cup or successfully defending their League Cup prize, City can no longer afford to treat their tie against Barcelona as a bonus fixture.
Roberto Mancini brought City their first league title in 44 years in the 2011/12 campaign, but was sacked the following season after finishing 2nd in the league and failing to make it out of the Champions League group stages.
Manuel Pellegrini - his replacement - fared slightly better in his first season, but City's mega-rich owners will not have enjoyed being comprehensively beaten by Barcelona in the round of 16.
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City have showed their resilience in Premier League title chases time and time again, but it is beginning to look increasingly likely that Chelsea will be champions of England come May. Which is why it is imperative for Pellegrini to show that he can lead City to heights they have never scaled before in European club football's most illustrious competition.
The Mirror claim that City have approached Diego Simeone with an eye to replacing Pellegrini.
It is time for the Chilean to transfer the confidence that has seen City's squad win two of the last three Premier League titles into big European games. And what better game to change the mentality of a club than a Champions League tie against a traditional European superpower?
Knowing the way modern football works, it may well be Pellegrini's only chance of survival. City fans, do you concur? Let us know in the comments box below...
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