x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Pellegrini not taking Premier League opponents Cardiff City lightly

Manchester City manager sees trip to promoted club as another chance for team to demonstrate attacking style he wants to impose this season.

Manuel Pellegrini hopes to call on the services of Matija Nastasic to replace his injured captain Vincent Kompany today. Mikko Stig / AFP
Manuel Pellegrini hopes to call on the services of Matija Nastasic to replace his injured captain Vincent Kompany today. Mikko Stig / AFP

Manuel Pellegrini, the Manchester City manager, sees Sunday's trip to promoted Cardiff City as another chance for his team to demonstrate the attacking style he wants to impose this season.

City made an impressive start to their Premier League campaign with a 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on Monday.

City overran the visitors with a high-tempo, attack-minded game from the outset, indicating clearly that first-year manager Pellegrini's input has already had an effect.

"We are trying to play everywhere the way I think is better for us," the Chilean said. We played a very good game in the way I want this team to play. It is not only because we scored four goals and we had a clean sheet, but in the way we played.

"We are a very aggressive team - that is very important to me. It is just the beginning, but it was a very good start."

Cardiff were beaten 3-0 away at West Ham United in their opener, but Pellegrini expects City to be tested, on what will be the Welsh side's first home game in the top flight in 51 years.

"We are not going to make that mistake [of taking Cardiff lightly]," he said. "We know Cardiff are a very difficult team. We know they are at home and are in the first season.

"We will need to play an excellent game without errors to get another three points."

City are hoping defender Matija Nastasic will be fit to replace injured captain Vincent Kompany in central defence. City expected Nastasic to miss the first month of the season after suffering an ankle injury in July, but returned to training this week.

His return could be timely, since Kompany limped off during the second half against Newcastle with a groin injury and faces a month on the sideline.

David Marshall, the Cardiff goalkeeper, considers City to have the Premier League's most potent strike force.

"In terms of the numbers and quality they have got, it is hard to touch them, particularly given the players they have signed in the summer as well," said the Scotland international.

"No one expects us to get anything out of games against sides like these in the top four.

"If we managed to get anything out of them, it would be a bonus. There is not as much pressure on us."

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