Football

Manchester City v Barcelona: Predicted line-ups

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Messi & Neymar could both start for Barcelona
Messi & Neymar could both start for Barcelona.

Tuesday night's mouth-watering Champions League last 16 fixture between Manchester City and Barcelona has captured the imagination.

Two attack-minded sides, blessed with a multitude of world-class players, capable of putting any team to the sword on their day.

Barcelona come into the fixture off the back of an emphatic 6-0 demolition of Rayo Vallecano, while Manchester City also enjoyed a confidence-boosting result: a 2-0 FA Cup win over Jose Mourinho's Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.

But who will start for the two clubs on Tuesday night?

Well, the positive news for the home side is that influential midfielder Fernandinho could be fit to play. If he's fit, he'll start - even if Javi Garcia enjoyed one of his best games in a Manchester City shirt at the weekend.

There's also a chance that Sergio Aguero could be fit. However, Manuel Pellegrini will not want to rush his star striker back too quickly, which should mean that Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo start in attack, with the Argentina international ready in reserve on the bench.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart will come back into the fold, while Pellegrini may opt to stick with Joleon Lescott instead of the sluggish Martin Demichelis at the heart of his defence.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are not expected to make wholesale changes from the side that thrashed Rayo at the weekend.

Jordi Alba should replace Adriano at left-back, while Xavi will return to midfield - possibly in place of Cesc Fabregas - after being rested for Saturday's 6-0 win.

Barca boss Gerardo Martino must decide whether to stick with Pedro or bring in the recently fit-again Neymar into the wide-left position.


Predicted line-ups:

Manchester City (4-4-2): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Milner, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva; Jovetic, Negredo

Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Alexis, Messi, Neymar

Topics:
Manchester City
Barcelona
Lionel Messi
Neymar
UEFA Champions League
Football
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