Barcelona v Manchester City: Predicted line-ups

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Football News

Barcelona host Manchester City in the second leg of the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday night with a 2-0 advantage - but the reigning Spanish champions cannot afford to rest on their laurels.

Gerardo Martino’s side secured a healthy aggregate lead thanks to a Lionel Messi penalty and a late strike from Daniel Alves, and are now the overwhelming favourites to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals. However, Barcelona produced arguably their worst performance of the season so far against Real Valladolid on Saturday, offering Manchester City hope of pulling off a Chelsea-esque miracle at the Nou Camp this week.

That was, at least, until Manchester City themselves slumped to an embarrassing defeat at the weekend. Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Championship side Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup quarter-finals was a disaster for City boss Manuel Pellegrini, whose side can no longer win an historic quadruple this season.

Still, their hopes of securing a treble remain undiminished - for now. The big question is how much of an impact can the fit again Sergio Aguero make in this tie. The Argentina international was badly missed during the first leg, but has the potential to make up for lost time at the Nou Camp.

Manchester City fans will breathe a sigh of relief that their hapless central defender Martin Demichelis is suspended after picking up a red card for a professional foul against Barcelona last month, which means Joleon Lescott will have the unenviable task of keeping Lionel Messi quiet.

Barcelona, meanwhile, are expected to line up similar to how they did at the Etihad Stadium. However, one change could involve Neymar coming in for Andres Iniesta, who missed the game against Valladolid at the weekend due to tragic personal circumstances.

The Spanish World Cup hero did train as normal on Tuesday, but Martino may opt to use him as a substitute, while sticking with Xavi, Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas as his midfield trio.

Predicted line-ups:

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

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

Who will qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals: Barcelona or Manchester City?

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Manchester City
UEFA Champions League
Sergio Aguero
Lionel Messi

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