|UEFA Champions League 2014-15|
| Manchester City
||vs|| FC Barcelona
ScheduleTuesday, 24 February 2015 at 18:45 GMT / 18:45 UK / 00:15 IST
VenueEtihad Stadium (Manchester)
Next Tuesday, 24th of February 2015, a super motivated Manchester City will take on a somewhat fragilized Barcelona at Etihad Stadium for the first-leg of the Last 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League.
After a fantastic domestic stint with eleven consecutive wins and some excellent performances to go along with, Barcelona have surprisingly sucumbed at home at the hands of the inconsistent Málaga last Saturday. The Blaugranas conceded their second defeat of the season at Camp Nou and to make things worst, the team’s overall performance has also left something to be desired. An early goal from Juanmi after a childish mistake from the Brazilian international Dani Alves was enough to give the Andalusian team the three points on a match that Barça should have won. Although Barcelona enjoyed from plenty more ball possession, they had the exact same amount of goal attempts of their opponents and the team’s usual synchronized game simply did not worked for large periods of the match.
A sour defeat such as this one could have a negative effect on the team in the eve of a very important Champions League clash against Manchester City. Barça’s manager, Luis Enrique, is certainly aware of that but he will not have plenty of time to recover his team emotionally and to rally the troops for the match. For the visit to Etihad Stadium, the Asturian-born manager will not be able to rely on the contribution of Vermaelen and Douglas, both currently sidelined due to injury.
As for Manchester City, they seem to be returning to their good old days after a less impressive period that has seriously compromised their aspirations of revalidating the English Premier League title. Last Saturday, the Citizens completely hammered an adrift Newcastle by 5-0 thanks to a highly inspired performance from David Silva, who contributed with two goals and one assist to his team’s scoring tally.
Last season, Manchester City have failed to overcome Barcelona when both sides met at the exact same stage of the UEFA Champions League and this term they will certainly try to avenge that painful elimination.
For that particular clash, City’s manager, Manuel Pellegrini, will not be able to rely on the contribution of one of his most important footballers, the Ivorian midfielder Yaya Touré, who is currently suspended.
It is hard to name any favourites for a match between two teams such as these; nevertheless, given their campaign at the tournament so far, Barcelona enjoy from a slight favouritism.
Stats: W-2 L-1 D-2
Recent Form - WWDDL
Stats: W-4 L-1 D-0
Recent Form - LWWWW
Manchester City (4-4-2) – Hart - Zabaleta - Mangala - Kompany - Kolarov - Fernando - Fernandinho - Nasri - Silva - Aguero - Dzeko
Barcelona (4-3-3) - Bravo - Alves - Mascherano - Piqué - Jordi Alba - Busquets - Iniesta - Rakitic - Neymar - Suárez - Messi