DAVID SILVA is convinced Manchester City will still make their mark in the Champions League despite making life difficult for themselves.
After collecting just one point from their opening two Group A games against Napoli and Bayern Munich, City are anxious to register their first victory as Villarreal visit the Etihad Stadium tonight.
With City top of the Premier League, their European results contrast with their domestic form, but Spaniard Silva sees that as an anomaly.
He said: "We have got a lot of games under our belt in the league.
"In the Champions League we have only played two games and those two games were against top sides.
"Maybe it is a case of needing a few more games under our belt in that competition too in order to get the same consistency we have been showing in the league.
"We have made things a little bit hard for ourselves but we can start to improve tonight."
Villarreal have lost both their games in the competition and, after finishing fourth in Spain last season, are a lowly 13th in La Liga after a goalless draw at Getafe on Saturday.
Silva, however, knows plenty about the 'Yellow Submarine' from his time at their rivals Valencia and is reading little into their current form.
The 25-year-old, who scored in a 4-1 win over Villarreal in January 2010, said: "They are a great side.
"They like to keep hold of the ball, they like to pass it around and they can also hit you on the break."
Silva, who has been in outstanding form this autumn, is set to return to the starting line-up after starting Saturday's 4-1 win over Aston Villa on the bench.
Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko were also kept in reserve by manager Roberto Mancini and are in contention, while Sergio Aguero has recovered from a groin injury.
Mario Balotelli again misses out through suspension and Carlos Tevez, the subject of disciplinary proceedings, continues to train apart from the first-team squad and is highly unlikely to be recalled.
Mancini said: "If we beat Villarreal I think everything can change for us in the group.
"We must win this game but it is important we are strong enough. I don't think it will be easy."