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Nolito not motivated by Barcelona revenge

SoccerNews in La Liga 31 Oct 2016

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Nolito dismissed any notion of wanting “revenge” over Barcelona when Manchester City host his former club in Champions League Group C on Tuesday.

Spain forward Nolito played for Barcelona B between 2008 and 2011 but only made two appearances for the senior side before moving to Benfica.

A superb campaign for Celta Vigo last time around booked a spot at Euro 2016 for the 30-year-old and preceded his move to City, despite being heavily linked to Barca during the January transfer window.

Speaking at a pre-match news conference, Nolito insisted he had no hard feelings over not winning a second opportunity to make his mark at Camp Nou.

“I think there are a lot of other things to play for,” he said. “I don’t know what team the manager will put out but I am quite relaxed.

“I am not looking for revenge in any way shape or form. I’m happy here at City and hopefully things go well for me at City.”

Nolito was among almost a full complement of City players taking part in training at the City Football Academy on Monday.

Pep Guardiola’s side are aiming to bounce back from a 4-0 loss at Camp Nou last time out in Champions League that leaves them five points behind Barca in the group.

Guardiola told his media conference that he was without both his senior right-backs for the match but Pablo Zabaleta (foot) took part in the session with his team-mates, while Bacary Sagna (hamstring) was absent.

If Zabaleta misses out, there is the prospect of defensive midfielder Fernando or teenage rookie Pablo Maffeo being pitted against Neymar on the left of the Barcelona attack.

Neymar completed the rout in Catalonia after having a penalty saved by Willy Caballero, who is set to start in goal for the hosts due to Claudio Bravo being suspended.

Bravo, who joined Caballero for his warm-up on the eve of this match, was dismissed for handling a Luis Suarez shot outside his area – City’s fourth red card in five Champions League matches against Barcelona, all of which have ended in defeat.

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