Manchester City welcome Barcelona to the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League on Tuesday night, and are desperate for revenge after being hammered in the reverse fixture.
City need a win to ensure of their top-two spot four games into the group stages, and there’s good reason why they can avenge their demons with Barcelona’s porous defence and injuries giving Pep Guardiola a chance against his former side.
Barcelona missing key players
Manchester City stand a real chance of beating Barcelona given the players missing for the Catalans. Luis Enrique is without two centre-backs in Jeremy Mathieu and Gerard Pique, while left-back Jordi Alba is also expected to miss out. In the midfield, playmaker Andres Iniesta will be absent, meaning the spine of the Barcelona side is somewhat damaged.
City won’t get the chance to face such a weakened Barcelona again so they have to make it count on home soil. The Sky Blues should take advantage of Barca’s makeshift backline given the firepower they have in their arsenal, and Pep Guardiola could use a direct approach to get the ball in behind the defence as much as possible.
Porous defensive record on the road
Barcelona have conceded goals away from home this season, and the Etihad Stadium is a ground they could struggle to contain Manchester City in. Barca have conceded six goals in their last two away games ahead of Tuesday’s meeting with City, having kept just one clean sheet on the road in all competitions since August.
With Manchester City boasting five wins and two draws from their seven home games in all competitions, Pep Guardiola’s men are sure to perform in their own backyard. Barcelona’s makeshift backline which has continued to struggle on the road will have a tough task of containing a Manchester City attack featuring Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.
City can’t afford dropped points with Gladbach lurking in Group C
Manchester City need a result against Barcelona given they are just one point above third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach in Group C. The German outfit face Celtic in their group game, a side they beat in the reverse fixture, and could go above City in the table with two games remaining if they win and the Sky Blues fall short to Barcelona.
Guardiola’s men still have to face Gladbach, but they won’t want to lose their second place in the table this week. Manchester City are 15/8 to win against Barcelona in Tuesday’s Champions League clash. Can the Sky Blues deliver?