Manchester City travel to the Ukraine tonight to face Dynamo Kiev and bid to qualify for the quarter finals of the Champions league for the first time in their history.
City manager Pellegrini rested his entire first team squad on Sunday and watched his replacements go down 5-1 to Chelsea in the FA Cup Between a rock and a hard place? Fans were incandescent after the loss but now they travel in confidence knowing that they will be fresh for this tie.
Kiev are slightly handicapped in that this is the first game back after the winter break and so they are bound to be ring rusty and City should take advantage of that although the home side will be no pushovers having won their last six fixtures.
Kiev qualified for the knockout stage by edging out Porto with a surprise away victory and this is going to be City's best chance of going through since they entered the competition. Barcelona have barred their progress twice in the last two seasons.
For City this is a defining game. Back to back home defeats against Leicester and Spurs followed by the humbling at the hands of Chelsea mean that they need to get back on track but any talk of dismissing the manager can be laughably discounted as he has already stated his intention to leave at the end of the season and City have appointed Guardiola as their new coach.
All too premature?
Possibly, but City should have enough to win tonight and make for comfortable viewing when they return to the Etihad.