Manchester City set for Barcelona showdown

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Manchester City's hopes of claiming a first Champions League title this season were dealt a huge blow after they were drawn against Barcelona in the round of 16.

Having completed an impressive turn around in the group stage to make it through to the knock-out stages for the second consecutive season, City have been given one of the toughest ties of the round.

The draw is a repeat of last year's round of 16 match-up, but Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the 4-1 aggregate scoreline that saw his team eliminated last season.

After claiming just two points from their opening four group stage fixtures, City looked unlikely to even make it this far in the competition.

However, they rallied to wins against Bayern Munich and Roma to claim unlikely qualification and they'll have to once again defy the odds to overcome the four-time European champions.


The Etihad Stadium will once again host the first leg of the tie, just as it did last season. On that occasion a Lionel Messi penalty and a Dani Alves goal sealed a 2-0 win for the Catalans.

Winning the return leg in Spain was always going to be a tough ask for Pellegrini's men and it proved to be beyond them, as once again Messi and Alves found the net, although a Vincent Kompany goal did give his side a small consolation.

While the City team of 2014/2015 shows few changes to the one that fell at this hurdle last season, the Barca line-up features a tasty addition in the form of former Liverpool striker, and reigning PFA Player of the Year, Luis Suarez.

Can they do it?

Bookmakers will make Barca the favourites to progress, but do City have what it takes to make it to the quarter final stage for the first time?

The 3-2 win against Bayern certainly showed they're capable of beating the very best teams in the world, but a draw and a defeat against CSKA Moscow emphasised their naivety on the European stage.

If they are to overcome the Spanish giants they'll need their star men, namely top goalscorer Sergio Aguero and skipper Kompany, to be fit and available.

City's journey to this stage of the competition was made harder by the absence of those two, as well as the suspended Yaya Toure, and they'll need to be a full strength to progress even further.

Rest of the draw

Elsewhere, City's Premier League rivals Chelsea will be reunited with former defender David Luiz when they take on Paris Saint-Germain for the second season in a row.

They'll be a reunion of sorts in North London too, with Arsene Wenger given the chance to face off against one of his former clubs when Arsenal take on Monaco.

Last season's winners Real Madrid will face Schalke while there's a repeat of the 1997 final as Juventus go head to head with Borussia Dortmund.

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