Manuel Pellegrini has revealed Manchester City have tried – and failed – to persuade Sky to change the scheduling of Sunday’s trip to Southampton ahead of the Champions League second-leg against Real Madrid in Spain.
The club say they lobbied Sky and the Premier League to alter the 4.30pm kick-off, but their inability to do so means Real Madrid have an extra day’s rest ahead of the second leg of their semi-final tie, which is delicately balanced at 0-0 following Tuesday’s first leg.
“They believe in what we are doing so we have to play the second leg in Madrid,” Pellegrini said of his team.
“Before we go to Madrid, we must continue in the Premier League against a difficult team in Southampton.
“Unfortunately for us, maybe we are going to have one day less rest than Real Madrid because they play on Saturday
“We tried change our game but it was impossible so we need to play on Sunday. I am sure we will give all we can to arrive to the final.”
Pellegrini’s line-up at St Mary’s could be interesting given the widespread changes he made after complaining about fixture congestion ahead of February’s FA Cup clash at Chelsea.