It is one of the biggest possible clashes in the Champions League last 16 as the Spanish giants Barcelona are travelling to England to play against the English giants, Manchester City. Both teams have been called the biggest club in their country at one point, with Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini claiming that his team are the biggest and the best only days ago, so this clash guarantees to be a thriller. Furthermore, this is set to be an historical game as the two sides have never met in a competitive match before, but have only played 6 friendlies which have been won by each team 3 times.
These two teams were considered to both be top contenders to win the Champions League, along with sides such as Real Madrid and Chelsea. However, looking ahead to tonight’s first leg, Manchester City does have the home advantage, but are not looking good on their squad front. The Citizens do welcome back from injury their midfielder Fernandinho which is a plus, but the biggest disadvantage is the fact that City’s highest scoring player, Sergio Agüero is still out injured. The Argentinian is a huge miss for Man City, but they will hope that Álvaro Negredo is on form to cover his position well.
On the other hand, Barcelona are sitting quite comfortably with their team as not many of their starting players are out injured, especially none of their big named players. The Spanish Champions will go into this Champions League round of 16 with confidence after welcoming back Neymar from injury last week, when he scored an absolutely fantastic goal; this is extremely bad news for Manchester City. Lionel Messi will be as deadly as ever for Barcelona and with an attack and midfield like theirs, Manchester City’s defence are in for a busy and tough night.
Many people have said that this clash would have made an unforgettable final, but instead the draw denied football fans seeing these two clash for the trophy. In the match tonight, there will be many good contests between players, including Negredo against Barcelona centre back, Gerard Piqué. Yaya Touré will have a contest against Sergio Busquets, whilst City’s captain and centre back, Vincent Kompany has a busy night defending against the likes of Messi and Neymar.
It will be an unpredictable game and one not to miss, but no matter what the score, a footballing giant will be knocked out of the Champions League in the coming weeks. Tonight is only the first leg between the teams as in a few weeks, Man City must travel to Barcelona for the second leg, and then it will be decided who will advance in the tournament.
Author Daniel Foster.
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