Football

Manuel Pellegrini promises to attack Barcelona

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Manchester City host Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday night, and Manuel Pellegrini has already outlined his approach to the game - vowing to attack City's illustrious visitors.

The two sides met at the same stage of the competition last season, but Pellegrini's attempts to stifle the Catalan giants fell short as Barca came out 4-1 aggregate winners.

With that experience still fresh in the mind, the City boss has this year vowed to send his team out on the front foot as they look to reach a first ever Champions League quarter final.

In form

Having scored nine goals in their previous two games, City once again look like a team capable of scoring goals having scored just three times in their previous five fixtures.

It comes as no coincidence that the weekend's 5-0 drubbing of Newcastle was the return of Yaya Toure, but City will have to make do without the big Ivorian who is suspended for Tuesday's clash.

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While City go in to the game on the back of an impressive league victory, Barca will be looking to make amends for a surprise home defeat at the hands of Malaga on Saturday.

However, Luis Enrique's side had been on a run of 11 consecutive victories prior to that defeat, meaning confidence won't be an issue for the four-time European champions.

Aggressive

Following his sides resounding victory over Newcastle attention turn to the midweek visit of Barca, and Pellegrini told BBC Sport: "We are going to try from the beginning to be an aggressive team and try to score goals.

"It is not a normal game because the tie lasts 180 minutes and we must try not to concede as well as try to score, because an away goal can be very important.

"But I am sure we will see our team trying to play in the same way we did against Newcastle."

Preparation

Going toe to toe with Barca isn't just about skill and technique, the Spanish giants are a fit team who will work hard off the ball, and Pellegrini explained how his team are in a much better position to match their opposition physically this time round.

"I think we are better prepared because last season we arrived in February after playing 18 games in December and January, nine in each month," he said.

"Of those 18 games, we won 16 and drew two. Of course it is normal that at some moment in the season we will feel it, and we arrived not at our best moment against Barcelona."

"But this year we have played fewer games in December and January and I also hope the experience of what happened against Barca last year will help us."

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Topics:
Manchester City
Football
UEFA Champions League
Barcelona

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