Relegation battle continues


April 30, 2016
Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho and Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross, left, contest the ball during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Stoke City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England on April 23.

Manchester City's priority is progressing in the Champions League, with Manuel Pellegrini's side locked at 0-0 in their semifinal with Real Madrid which resumes in the Spanish capital on Wednesday.

But City's players have to face Southampton tomorrow, while Madrid's domestic fixture is today, ensuring an extra day's rest before the second leg.

Pellegrini failed to get the Southampton game brought forward from tomorrow to today. It's still a significant game for the club, with City only ahead of Arsenal due to its superior goal difference. United is five points behind them but with a game in hand.

"In the Premier League, I don't understand why when having so many games, and they all have the same interest, that we can't play one day before to have 24 hours (more rest), at least having the same as Real Madrid," Pellegrini said.

City will be without David Silva for the second leg as the playmaker recovers from a hamstring injury.

Sunderland can stay out of the relegation zone by beating Stoke. Behind the north-east club in the drop zone, due to an inferior goal difference, is Norwich. Newcastle is a point back as it prepares to host FA Cup finalist Crystal Palace.

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