Manchester City vs Barcelona by Jimeno
Manchester City broke a streak of six winless matches in all competitions last weekend when the team managed to get an easy three pointer away from home against West Brom in a 0:4 victory. They were better from the first till the last moment of the match, virtually having no real threats in front of their own goal.
Aguero looked really well in the first halftime with two goals, while Gungodan added two more towards the end of the game to complete totally deserved victory. After this victory, the team managed to keep the leading position, but now sharing it together with Arsenal and Liverpool, while Chelsea has only a point less them these teams. The team needs to get a victory here badly, as any other outcome would drag them into uncertain waters in last two rounds.
Citizens will be playing in 4-1-4-1 formation, with Aguero set as central striker and with Bruyne, Silva, Gundogan and Sterling as offensive midfielders. Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was sent off in the previous game and remains suspended here. Defenders Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna are doubtful, while Vincent Kopmany may not be risked here.
Barcelona took important 4:0 victory over Citizens in the previous round, but must be said that their job was much more easier since 53rd minute when the Citizens stood playing with a man less, while the home team exploited that fact and managed to get 3:0 lead (all three goals being scored by Messi), scoring another one till the end as well (via Neymar), while they also played with ten man since 73rd when Mathieu got excluded as well.
They are now having maximum number of points and in case of a victory here, the team would be between the first ones to mathematically secure the progress to the knockout phase. As for Primera, they come from a 1:0 narrow victory over Granada last weekend at home, thanks to a goal from Rafinha, while they continue to be second at the table, being two points below leaders from Real Madrid.
Players from Barcelona will be playing in their typical 4-3-3 formation with Messi, Suarez and Neymar acting as forwards. Central defender Jeremy Mathieu (4/1) is suspended for this one since he also got excluded in previous game, while left back Jordi Alba (5/0) is doubtful. Injured remain central defender Gerard Pique (7/2) and midfielder Andres Iniesta (5/0).
- Barcelona have won their last 5 matches against Man City.
Both teams are having injury concerns ahead of this important game. Citizens were almost humiliated in the previous match and maybe didn't deserve such a strong defeat and even though they will be looking for a revenge and are aiming for a strong start, I still see visitors coming out at the top once again. Draw can't be excluded, but the Spaniards are closer to the victory one again in my eyes. They act more like a unit, like a real team and getting the correct scores even when not being at their best. Absences in defence should definitely hurt more the English side.