Monday, February 17, 2014

Manchester City vs Barcelona Champions League 18 February 2014

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Tuesday, 18 February 2014 19:45 GMT - 20:45 CET
Etihad Stadium, Manchester, United Kingdom

Man City team enter the biggest match of their season thus far in a titanic clash with Spanish giants Barcelona. The Citizens have been prolific in attack this season, particularly at the Etihad Stadium where they've scored 42 goals and conceded just 9 in Premier League play. On Saturday, they sent a statement of their intent with a convincing 2-0 win over Chelsea in the English F.A. Cup. Assumed starters Yaya Toure, David Silva, Jesus Navas, and Negredo (including manager Manuel Pelligrini) all possess substantial experience with Barcelona, whether as friend or foe. However, first-choice striker Sergio Aguero is out as Pelligrini hopes to have his star man back for the 2nd leg at Camp Nou. The hosts will look to capitalize on Barcelona's defensive frailties, while remaining wise to the fact that they overstretched themselves (and were punished) against Bayern Munich at home in the group round.
  • Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Toure, Garcia; Nasri, Silva, J.Navas; Negredo.
FC Barcelona sent a statement of their own Saturday with a 6-0 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano in league play. Lionel Messi scored two goals in that one and appears to be returning to his best just in time for Tuesday's monumental clash. They've now lost just once in their last 18 games in all competitions, a run of good form that has propelled them to the top of La Liga. Furthermore, in Saturday's win Andres Iniesta enjoyed a good game, and while the competition will be far greater here on Tuesday, it's an encouraging sign for Barca supporters after the midfielder had hit a poor patch of form. Saturday also saw the return of Neymar from injury and he made an immediate impact with a delightful goal in the dying minutes. The Brazilian was purchased for games just like this, so that the opposing defence can't just key in on Messi. Nonetheless, he may start from the bench Tuesday night from a lack of match fitness, but watch for him in the 2nd half. 
  • Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Dani Alves, Puyol, Pique, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Sanchez.

Head to Head:
Last Meeting: 19.08.2009, Barcelona - Manchester City 0:1
Wins Manchester City: 1 - Wins Barcelona: 0 - Draws: 0.

Manchester City vs FC Barcelona
2013/2014 UEFA Champions League, Round of 16
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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