The temptation to do a Chelsea must be very real for Manchester City after they avoided the three deadliest sides left in the Champions League draw yesterday.
Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were paired with other less lucky opponents, while City drew Paris Saint-Germain.
Les Parisiens are a daunting foe, but far from as fearsome as the last three teams to lift win Europe’s premier club competition.
At home, City will be nine points behind table-topping Leicester even if making the most of the game in hand they currently have on the Foxes.
Rated as long as 14/1 to win the Premier League and struggling for form domestically, the idea of prioritising continental matters over those on the home front must be tempting.
It worked for Chelsea, who seemingly sacrificed their English top-flight placing on the way to an unexpected Champions League triumph under Roberto Di Matteo, in 2011/12.
Fourth and three points ahead of fifth after beating Bolton on February 25, 2011, the Blues won only five of their remaining 12 fixtures in the Premier League to finish sixth.
The billionaire-bankrolled arrivistes promptly claimed their first European title, ripping up Tottenham’s fourth-place-earned ticket to the following season’s competition in the process.
Should City follow Chelsea’s example of prioritising a maiden Champions League over the league they may also derive the unexpected pleasure of eliminating rivals Manchester United in precisely the same fashion.
The Red Devils currently lurk in sixth, a mere four points behind their sky blue foes and an eyes-elsewhere slide down the table from Manuel Pellegrini’s men might well usher them (temporarily) into the fourth and final qualifying spot.
His Etihad dwellers are currently 20/1 fifth favourites to win the Champions League.
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