Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Top Four Finish Is Major Priority - but Third Would Be Whole Lot Better for City

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Top Four Finish Is Major Priority - but Third Would Be Whole Lot Better for City

Article excerpt

IF CITY need any extra incentive as they chase Liverpool for third place, they should look at what awaits the team that finishes fourth.

The Blues got lucky when they finished fourth last season and ended up drawing a poor Steaua Bucharest team in the play-offs.

But the list of teams which are lining up as potential opponents in the August playoffs for a place in the group stages of the competition look worrying.

Ten teams will contest the play-offs to provide the final five qualifiers for the group stages - and as the leagues currently stand, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Ajax are all set to join the team that finishes fourth in the Premier League.

If City cannot overhaul Liverpool - who are three points ahead but have played one game more - and take fourth, they are likely to avoid those teams.

But they could run straight into Portuguese aces Sporting Lisbon, Mario Balotelli's Nice, Russian big spenders Zenit St Petersburg, old foes Dynamo Kiev, or one of the Turkish qualifiers. …

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