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Need to know: Manchester City

What you need to know about Manchester City going into the new Premier League season

Need to know: Manchester City

LONDON (AP) -- Five things to know about Manchester City going into the 2013-14 English Premier League season:


Manuel Pellegrini goes into the 2013-14 season knowing that nothing short of winning the Premier League title will be viewed as a success by the Manchester City board, who sacked title-winning manager Roberto Mancini last season with two games remaining in a trophyless campaign. Pellegrini, who left Spanish side Malaga to move to the Premier League club, will also need to integrate some young players into the first team. City stressed the need for a more effective approach to player development when announcing the departure of Mancini.


Aside from the domestic campaign, Pellegrini will be expected to take City further than the group stages of the Champions League this season. After failing to qualify for the knockout rounds of the tournament for two consecutive seasons, owner Sheikh Mansour will be eager to see City competing in the latter stages of club football's most illustrious competition, having spent millions on players.


Despite highlighting a desire for a change in approach last season, Mansour has allowed Pellegrini to spend significantly to stamp his own mark on the squad. Fernandinho has signed from Shakhtar Donetsk for a reported 34 million pounds ($53 million), bringing some important Champions League experience with him after playing in the competition for the past eight seasons. City also signed midfielder Jesus Navas and striker Alvaro Negredo from Sevilla along with another attacker, Steven Jovetic, from Fiorentina in Italy. The three players cost a reported total of $102 million.


The exit of Carlos Tevez is City's most notable departure during the offseason. The Argentina striker has moved to Juventus in Italy after an eventful four years that saw him return to help City win its first Premier League title after resolving a row with Mancini that had left him exiled from the squad in 2011-12. Elsewhere, defender Kolo Toure left the club to join Liverpool after his contract expired and Brazil defender Maicon joined Italian team Roma for an undisclosed fee. Former England defender Wayne Bridge has joined second-tier club Reading.


It is possible that City could open up a gap over crosstown rival and Premier League champion Manchester United after the first five games of the season. While United starts its season away to League Cup winner Swansea before tough games against Jose Mourinho's Chelsea at Old Trafford and a trip to Anfield to play Liverpool, City faces Newcastle at home before taking on two newly promoted teams, Cardiff and Hull. City and United will face each other for the fifth fixture of their respective campaigns so if City has not started well against teams it is expected to beat, the pressure will already be mounting on Pellegrini. But start well and beat United on Sept. 22 and City could secure a dominant position during the early stages of the season.