MANCHESTER (Sporting Alert) — Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has decided to start with Edin Dzeko as the strike partner for Sergio Aguero against Barcelona in tonight’s Champions League last 16 first leg tie.
Coverage: 1:45pm Manchester City v Barcelona
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Pellegrini plans on being a little more physical against the Spanish giants and he believes that starting with Dzeko will add that quality.
New January signing Wilfried Bony is only on the substitutes bench, but will certainly play some part in this fixture before the end of the 90-minutes, while fit-again James Milner starts in the midfield.
Samir Nasri, Fernando and David Silva are all in midfield as well for Manchester City, who have the likes of Frank Lampard, Jesus Navas, Fernandinho and Eliaquim Mangala on the bench.
Manchester City are without energetic midfielder Yaya Toure, who misses the game because of suspension after he was sent off in the last game in the group stage against CSKA Moscow.
Barcelona, in the meantime, have given the green light to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar to light-up the attack in the search of goal.
Suarez will be making his first appearance since leaving Liverpool last summer and Pellegrini will be hoping the Uruguay forward will have an off night on Tuesday night.
Veteran midfielder Xavi is a substitutes tonight for Barcelona, with Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets all starting.
Javier Mascherano slips into center-half to partner Gerard Pique, while Dani Alves and Jordi Alba play on each side of them in the back four.
So will it be the battle of the strikers from Argentina?
Messi v Aguero, or will the likes of Suarez, Neymar, Rakitic, Silva or even Lampard make the headlines.
Manchester City v Barcelona
Barcelona Teams: Ter Stegen, Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta, Suarez, Neymar, Messi Subs: Bravo, Xavi, Pedro, Rafinha, Sergi Roberto, Adriano, Mathieu.
Manchester City Teams: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Fernando, Milner, Nasri, Silva, Dzeko, Aguero Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Mangala, Fernandinho, Lampard, Navas, Bony.