Man City manager is convinced his side can overcome Spanish giants Real in the last four of the Champions League
Manchester City will fight fire with fire in their Champions League semi final against Real Madrid.
Manuel Pellegrini is backing his strike force of Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva to win a shoot-out with Real’s Galacticos, led by Cristiano Ronaldo.
The City manager has vowed to stick to his attacking principles in the two-legged tie – despite the daunting prospect of trying to keep Real’s fearsome attack at bay.
Ronaldo has scored 46 goals in 44 games for club and country this season – including a quarter final hat-trick against Wolfsburg.
Meanwhile, Zinedine Zidane can also call upon the world’s most expensive player in Gareth Bale, French striker Karim Benzema and Colombian superstar James Rodriguez.
But Pellegrini is confident he has the firepower to lead City to their first ever Champions League final.
“We have the same options as Real Madrid,” said the Chilean, who will be replaced by Pep Guardiola at the end of the season.
“We are going to play against them like we always do – playing and thinking as a big team.
“We are going to try to score here the most amount of goals we can so I hope this team will reach the final this year.”
City are seen as underdogs against Real, who have won a record 10 European Cups.
And Zidane insists the Spanish giants will be expected to overcome their English opponents, who they play at the Etihad on April 26 and the Bernabeu May 4.
“Madrid are always favourites, and always will be,” said the Real coach. “But we know how difficult it is to play a Champions League semifinal against Manchester City, but we will do our best to go through.”
Not only does Pellegrini believe City can reach the final in Milan on May 28 – but he claims it wouldn’t be a shock for them to eliminate Real.
He said: “When you asked me if PSG was favourite when we drew them in the quarter final, I said there are no favourites. It’s exactly the same.
“Both teams have the same chances. It’s the same now.
“Maybe another way of thinking is it’s easier to say they have all the pressure because they are a big team and we are only invited to the semi final. But I don’t think that is the way.”
Pellegrini was sacked by Real in 2010 despite leading them to a then-club record points total in La Liga.
Reflecting on it, he said: “It was very unlucky to lose that league with 96 points and 102 or 103 goals. The most important thing was that we didn’t win a title, but in Real Madrid it’s very difficult. 75 percent of supporters wanted me to stay.”