As Manchester City work to avoid a repeat of their previous Champions League collapses, midfielder Fernandinho is concerned that the poor pitch surface at CSKA Moscow might derail their hopes.
City take on CSKA this Wednesday and, while the Arena Khimki has passed a pitch inspection, the Russian team’s last home game in the competition was moved to St. Petersburg due to a waterlogged pitch.
The Brazilian midfielder, who spent eight years dealing with similar surfaces in Ukraine, with Shakhtar Donetsk believes that the conditions could play into the opposition’s hands.
“I am worried about the pitch because our team try to play with the ball on the deck and if you don’t have a good pitch it could be very hard for us,” he said.
“Everybody has talked about the pitch being bad but I don’t know. We will see when we train there.
Despite winning domestic trophies in 2011 and 2012, City have crashed out of Europe’s elite club competition at the group stages in the last two years.
They started this year’s campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Viktoria Plzen but were humbled at home to Bayern Munich in a 3-1 defeat.
The Citizens are level on points with their opponents but lie one place ahead of them in second thanks to a superior goal difference.
With teams being ranked on head-to-head record if tied at the group’s conclusion, a bad result could leave Manuel Pellegrini’s side in a perilous position.
And the 28-year-old thinks that every game presents a challenge that his side should be able to overcome.
He said: “We can’t think about the draw, we need to go there to win. We play CSKA twice, back to back.
“We must win and if we do that and then beat them at home we will take a big step towards qualification.”
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