Manchester City Negredo Dzeko
Manchester City strikers Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko during a training session ahead of their Champions League group game against Viktoria Plzen, September 16Reuters

Manchester City will be hoping and praying third time's the charm when they begin their Champions League sojourn with a trip to Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday.

Manuel Pellegrini has been brought in to change City's fortunes in Europe, which has seen them fail to get past the group stages in the previous two seasons.

The experienced Chilean did wonders with Malaga last season, taking them to the quarterfinals, where they crashed out to eventual finalists Borussia Dortmund by the skin of their teeth.

City will be hoping some of that gold dust transfers to the confines of the Etihad, with the English Premier League certainly having more than a capable squad at their disposal.

The Manchester side are in a group that also includes Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow and Pellegrini knows any slip up could prove to be fatal.

"We have to win this game," Pellegrini said. "It's very important to start the group on a winning note. However, we know that we're playing a strong team.

"We will pick a team which is best to play tomorrow (Tuesday). The Champions League is never easy, even if there are weak teams in your group.

"Plzen are a good team. They haven't lost in their last 13 or 14 games and they're champions of the Czech Republic. I'm sure this won't be an easy group, but we will do our best to progress to the round of 16."

Manager Pavel Vrba believes his side have learnt their lesson from the last time they took part in the Champions League in 2011.

"Two years ago we were probably nervous, feeling the excitement as soon as we arrived in Prague," he said. "This time, we're playing at home and we feel good. The thrill of it all will probably start tomorrow.

"We have watched Manchester City's recent games in the Premier League, studying their formation and tactics. The important thing is to become familiar with our opponent and find ways to surprise them."

Team News: Gael Clichy and David Silva have not travelled to Prague, while Pellegrini is set to take a late decision on skipper Vincent Kompany, particularly with the Manchester Derby scheduled for this weekend. Plzen will be without one of their main players Marian Cisovsky, who is out with a calf injury.

Where to watch

The game is scheduled for a kickoff on Wednesday morning (12.15 am IST), although there is no Live telecast scheduled. 

Expected lineups: Viktoria Plzen: Kozacik; Rajtoral, Prochazka, Hejda, Limbersky; Horava, Horvath; Petrzela, Kolar, Kovarik, Bakos.

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Garcia, Nastasic, Kolarov; Toure, Fernandinho; Navas, Aguero, Nasri; Dzeko.

Prediction: 1-1

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