Barcelona v Manchester City: Champions League match preview
A look ahead to Wednesday night’s fixture at the Nou Camp
Wednesday 12 March 2014
Manuel Pellegrini’s men will be looking for some sort of ‘mini miracle’ as the Premier League title challengers look to overturn a 2-0 deficit. Goals from Lionel Messi and Dani Alves at the Etihad Stadium last week have hindered Manchester City’s chances of advancing into the last-eight of the competition.
Out of sorts defender Martin Demichellis gifted the Catalan club an easy first leg win after his last ditch tackle on three-times Ballon D’Or winner Messi with Barca dominating after a good opening 20 minutes from City. Former Malaga and Villarreal gaffer, Pellegrini will have to settle for a place in the stands at the Nou Camp, as he is currently serving a two match touchline ban after he was punished for publicly criticising referee, Jonas Eriksson. The Chilean, dubbed ‘The Engineer’ said the Swede was ‘not impartial to both teams.’
However, the Premier League title contenders will be boosted with the return of Sergio Aguero to European football after his absence from the first leg. As well as Aguero, David Silva, Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas will be returning to their homeland in an attempt to inflict misery on Tata Martino’s side. Midfield powerhouse, Yaya Toure will be returning to the Nou Camp for the first time since his £24m switch to Manchester City in 2011 and stop the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas from controlling the centre of the park.
After beating Sunderland in the League Cup final last week at Wembley, City’s hopes of an illustrious quadruple winning season hit a huge snag after yesterday’s surprising 2-1 FA Cup defeat at the hands of Championship outfit, Wigan Athletic, a repeat of last season’s final. Nevertheless, Barcelona lost top spot of La Liga to rivals Real Madrid after their shock 1-0 loss away at Real Valladolid. The Spanish giants run of form has also been irregular of late. Accumulating just 10 points in their last six league games, which included defeat’s against Valencia and Real Sociedad can give Pellegrini some encouragement leading up to Wednesday night.
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
Manchester City 0 Barcelona 2 (Messi pen, Alves) February 2014
Barcelona 0 Manchester City 1 (Petrov) (Pre-season friendly) August 2009
Manchester City 2 (Anelka, Sinclair) Barcelona 1 (Saviola) (Pre-season friendly) August 2003
Barcelona’ summer acquisition, Neymar, has had more shots per game than any other player in the Champions League.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has scored more goals on home turf in this seasons Champions League than any other player. (5 goals).
Barcelona are chasing their fourth Champions League trophy. Barca have not won the Champions League since 2011.
Manchester City have never reached the last eight of the UEFA Champions League in their history.
Manchester City 5/1
LIVE ON TV:
Sky Sports 1 Kick Off- 7:45pm. Champions League highlights show, Thursday 12:15am, Sky Sports 1
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