Manchester City vs FC Barcelona: Preview of Champions League game




Etihad Stadium is going to host the most exciting clash of UEFA Champions League round of 16. This is second year in a row when Manchester City and FC Barcelona will collide in a UCL Round of 16 game. Last year the score line was 4-1 and City was on the lower side unfortunately. But this time it seems that City has the potential to turn the table and get through to the quarter-finals. And that can be seen as well in Manchester’s league performance this year. Recently they have received a polished victory of 5-0 against Newcastle United. But if we turn to the Spanish League, there is a reason to worry for the Barcelona fans as their club has lost their last game against Malaga with 0-1. But Barcelona has a record of making sudden comebacks and the job might get tougher for the Pellegrini’s boys.

Manchester City vs FC Barcelona: Preview of Champions League game

Manchester City vs FC Barcelona: Preview of Champions League game

Yaya Toure will not be available for the upcoming UCL game. Milner has started training hard again and he is expected to be seen in the squad’s playing 11. Manchester City will continue to play in their rigid formation of 4-2-3-1.

The Argentine Sergio Aguero will be deployed at the striker’s position with Milner, Nasri and Silva playing from the behind. Milner will give City a much needed defensive cover on the mid field and it will be his responsibility to ensure that Barca’s Jordi Alba doesn’t get to reach City’s penalty area that much.

Yaya Toure’s shoes will be filled by Fernando and Fernandinho. Iniesta will be Fernandinho’s responsibility and will try to restrict the ball to reach Neymar and Messi. Both the Brazilians will try and make sure that the ball remains in the mid-field only. The full backs will be filled by Zabaleta and Clichy. The pillar at the center will be Vincent Kompany on whom the Manchester defense relies and he will be responsible for intercepting Suarez’s moves.

The wide positions will be taken care of by Barcelona’s 11 and 10 i.e. Neymar and Messi. Luis Enrique’s Barcelona will play in 4-3-3 fluid formation. Barcelona has two of the best full backs in the world; Jordi Alba and Dani Alves who will be in charge of stopping the ball coming through the wide areas from the opponent side. Supply of ball to the forwards will also be their responsibility. The mid-field of Barcelona’s game will be kept under control by the former Sevilla player, Rakitic who will have Iniesta along-side. Rakitic has proved to be a fruitful transfer and has settled down in the club very well.

The entire dodge in the center half will be at Busquests disposal. If City wants to win the game they will have to ensure that the ball does not reach Barcelona’s No. 5. Barcelona’s attack is undoubtedly one of the world’s dangerous ones, but after the departure of Puyol, its defense has never been the same as it was in his reign. Player like Aguero will have ample chance to exploit this opportunity though Yaya’s absence will make things tough for Pellegrini and company as well.

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