Barcelona Aims To Make It Eight Q’Final Appearance Against Man City

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In a repeat of last season’s fixture at this stage of the competition, Manchester City will tackle Barcelona in the last-16 stage of the Champions League, with the first leg to be held at the Etihad on Tuesday.

Barcelona won 4-1 on aggregate last term, with their two-legged affair the first time that the two teams had ever met in European competition.

Barca are by far the more experienced at this stage of the competition, however, with the Spanish club in the last-16 stage for the 11th time in a row, while this is just City’s second appearance in the knockout stages.

City remarkably beat Bayern Munich and Roma in their final two Group E fixtures to qualify for the round-of-16, but their 3-2 win over Bayern on matchday five was just their third win in their last 10 European home matches.

That said, City have lost just one of their five home games against Spanish clubs.

Barcelona, meanwhile, are pursuing their eighth successive quarter-final appearance. The Catalan outfit lost at Paris Saint-Germain in the group stages, but eventually finished top of Group F after beating the French side at home.

Luis Enrique’s side have won 11 of their last 12 matches in all competitions, but will enter the match off the back of a surprise 1-0 defeat at home to Malaga at the weekend.

That reverse left them four points behind Real Madrid in the race for the La Liga title.

Barca have the best defensive record in Spain this season, however, which has put to bed some criticisms of their defence.

The home side will be without the services of key midfielder, Yaya Toure, who is suspended, while James Milner is also an injury doubt.
January signing, Wilfried Bony, is pushing for his first start, but Edin Dzeko is expected to feature alongside Sergio Aguero in attack after scoring twice in their 5-0 win over Newcastle United at the weekend.

Man City Possible starting lineup: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Clichy; Fernando, Fernandinho; Silva, Aguero, Nasri; Dzeko.

Barcelona Possible starting lineup: Ter Stegen; Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Alba; Rakitic, Iniesta, Busquets; Neymar, Messi, Suarez

•Sport writer/blogger • Media strategist •Good citizen of Nigeria and Social Media Evangelist and a core die hard Real Madrid fan.

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