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Manchester City v Sevilla: 3 things that will shape Champions League tie

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Manchester City go into their Champions League home clash with Sevilla, knowing they must win to silence the doubters who don't believe that Manuel Pellegrini's side have what it takes to go all the way in the competition.

A fine performance at the weekend against an emerging Bournemouth side will have given the players confidence that they can put the lacklustre showings against Juventus and Borussia Monchengladbach to one side.

Sevilla come into the game in reasonable form after an appalling start to the season, and if they can produce their best, Unai Emery's men are more than capable of getting a result.

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Let's take a look at three things that could shape the outcome of this one...

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If there is one thing that sets Emery's teams apart, it is the incessant work ethic for a full 90 minutes.

We only need to recall the European Super Cup earlier this season as proof of how well the manager motivates his players.

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Sevilla were 4-1 down to Barcelona after 60 minutes before Emery inspired his side to draw level in 90 minutes and only a Pedro Rodriguez winner in the latter stages of extra time denied him a first-ever win against the Catalans in 20 matches.

He didn't have to wait long mind you. Earlier in this La Liga campaign, Sevilla were much the better side in a 2-1 victory.

They just don't know when they are beaten and City are going to have to be at their very best all game to beat them.

Fear

You can almost smell the fear when the Citizens take the field in a Champions League game. There is incredible pressure to perform even before the first whistle is blown.

For a team that plays such expansive, free-scoring football in the league, the expectancy level is heightened ten-fold on European nights.

Retreating into their shell isn't what the doctor ordered and if Pellegrini's men start this one hesitantly and have the Etihad crowd on their back after the opening exchanges, it could be another long night.

Missing Silva

When you play the big matches, you want to be able to call upon your big players.

The ones that make a difference in the heat of battle, who don't go hiding when the going gets tough.

David Silva has proved time and again that he has the key to unlocking opposition defences and will be sorely missed in this game, especially if Emery stations two defensive midfielders in front of his back four.

With no Sergio Aguero to sniff out chances either, City's forward momentum might well be curtailed on this occasion.

Do you think City can go one-step further than before and reach at least the semi-finals of the Champions League? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Raheem Sterling
Manchester City
Football

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