Pellegrini makes controversial comments before Chelsea clash

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has stated that his side’s clash with Chelsea in the FA Cup later today is “not a real game” and admitted that a scratch team will be fielded against the Premier League champions.

City are still in contention for four trophies but have a critical Champions League clash against Dynamo Kiev to play in midweek.

With Pellegrini having a host of stars on the treatment table currently, the Chilean has admitted that his priority is not the FA Cup but to have as strong a team as possible available for the European clash.

This will see the Etihad Stadium side field a host of fringe and young players against Chelsea, which could well see them eliminated from the cup competition.

Pellegrini has been realistic ahead of the clash and told the City fans that they can expect to see a weakened version of the side against the Blues.

“I think it’s not a real game, of course; not enough to pay the ticket,” The Daily Mail quote him as saying.

“I always give a lot of importance to the cups. They must think why [City are playing a second string].

“We always try to play a strong team in the cups, and it would be very nice to finish with a game at Wembley, but there are some moments when you have to prioritise because you don’t receive any help and you could damage your prospects.

“The fans want to see a good game but we told them one week ago that we are going to play a young team. If the people want to continue going to the stadium, that’s for them.”