Mancini takes positives from Euro exit
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says his side's Champions League exit could help in the defence of their Premier League title.City, who were bundled out of the Champions League on the bottom of Group D, are looking to bounce back from a run of just one win in five games in all competitions.
"We are not happy to exit because we wanted to do well, but probably it was not our year in Europe because against Borussia Dortmund we did not play well and we did not do enough to win the game," Mancini said.
"(But) in February or March it could be (an advantage) because the difference is that if you play in the Champions League you play on Tuesday or Wednesday and then have three or four days to recover.
"If you play in the Europa League then you don't have time to recover because you play Thursday night and then travel before playing Sunday afternoon."
City host fierce rivals Manchester United on Sunday in a crucial derby that could decide the fate of the title.
"I think it is clearly important that they have three points more than us and they have a small advantage," Mancini said.
"But it is a derby and it is a very difficult match for both teams.
"They are favourites for the title because they were a strong team and they have bought (Robin) Van Persie and they put into their squad another player who can score 25 goals."