Manchester City host Barcelona in a rematch of last season’s competition, a tie from which Barcelona emerged 4-1 victors on aggregate, though the victory did not come easily. They were helped in the first leg at the Etihad by a Martin Demichelis red card, something City will be wary of handing the Spanish giants any kind of similar advantage this time around. City come into this game on the back of a thumping 5-0 win over Newcastle at the weekend, though they will be without Yaya Touré once again through suspension. While they struggled domestically in Toure’s absence during AFCON 2015, the two Champions League wins that took them through the group stages came with the midfielder missing. Fernando and Fernandinho will play in central midfield whilst it doesn’t look like Bony will get the nod ahead of either Aguero up front. Barcelona, meanwhile, had a run of 11 consecutive wins brought to an end with a 1-0 defeat at home to Malaga on Saturday and will want to bounce back here. They should dominate possession but that could suit City, who will look to utilise the pace of Navas and Agüero on the break. With only Thomas Vermaelen out injured, it will be a familiar looking, strong team for Barcelona with the lethal front three of Neymar, Messi and Suarez who will do their best to cause City all the possible problems.
A top tipster would suggest a draw in this one, but if there was ever a good opportunity for City to prove themselves a genuine European powerhouse it’s this one!
Our Probable Formations:
Manchester City (126.96.36.199) Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Clichy, Fernando, Fernandinho, Navas, Silva, Nasri and Aguero.
Barcelona (4.3.3) Bravo, Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Suarez, Messi and Neymar.
BetAdvisor Top Tips:
City’s home record against Spanish clubs is W2 D2 L1. Sergio Agüero has scored in his last two home games for City against Liga visitors – the 1-1 draw with Real Madrid (2012/13) and 2-1 success over Villarreal (2011/12).
Barcelona have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 4 matches in the Champions League (including qualifiers).
Barcelona’s record away to English opposition is W7 D8 L14.
Barcelona have won their last 4 matches in the Champions League (including qualifiers).
Barcelona have scored at least 2 goals in their last 5 matches in the Champions League (including qualifiers).