• Man City will again face CSKA Moscow in Champions League
• Yaya Touré suffered racial abuse in away game last season
• Poll: who will qualify from Champions League group stages?
• Champions League group stage draw – as it happened
Manuel Pellegrini hopes CSKA Moscow have learned a lesson concerning last season’s racial abuse of Yaya Touré after Manchester City were again drawn against the Russian club in the Champions League group stages. During City’s 2-1 win at the Khimki Arena in October 2013, Touré suffered monkey chants.
Pellegrini said: “I hope for Moscow it is a lesson that they learn about that and hope that we don’t have any problems, not only with Yaya. I remember what happened last year. The pitch was also a problem, we played on a very bad pitch.”
Touré said at the time: “I’m not just disappointed, I’m furious. I’m very disappointed about what those fans have done and I think Uefa have to take action because players with the same colour of skin will always be in the same position. For me, as captain, I was wearing an armband which said ‘No to racism’ and I was totally disappointed.
“I want to see Uefa do something and take some action. We have to be as strong as possible, otherwise they will continue like that. Maybe they could ban the stadium, I don’t know, for a couple of years or a couple of months.”
Regarding a draw that also placed City with Bayern Munich for a third time in four years, Pellgrini said: It is a similar group to last year and it is a difficult group, especially with Roma. We must play and try to qualify, Some groups are less difficult, but that is not a problem.
“I don’t know if there is a better system than they use now for the Champions League. One team can be more difficult than another one, but when we were at Málaga, everybody wanted to play us, but we won the group. I reached a semi-final with Villarreal and a quarter-final with Málaga, so it shows that not always the biggest teams can do well.
“We don’t just think about the Champions League. We want to win the Premier League this year, too, but we also want to improve in Europe. The seeding is not a problem. It is the rules of the draw.”
The manager also confirmed that Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair and John Guidetti can leave. “We will see what happens with them in the next 48 hours,” he said. “They know they are not part of the squad because we have enough players with the 22 players I chose for this year.”