MANCHESTER (Sporting Alert) — The Champions League second round clash everyone has been waiting for, Manchester City v Barcelona at Etihad Stadium has finally arrived.
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On Tuesday night, two of the competition favourites will lock-horns early, as they seek to take an early advantage from the first leg.
Both teams have been boosted by the return of some key players, although Manchester City will be without star forward Sergio Aguero, who remains on the sidelines injured.
The English Premier League side welcomes back midfielder Fernandinho, who could be fit to face Barcelona, while Samir Nasri is also set to feature after scoring against Chelsea in his return from an injury at the weekend.
“He has a chance. He is in the squad list for tomorrow,” Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said about Fernandinho. “We will see tomorrow who can start but he has worked without any problem.”
About Aguero, he revealed: “He is not in the squad list.
“We will see if he can be fit on Saturday, but maybe that is also difficult.”
After missing practice, defender Matija Nastasic is also set to miss out.
Barcelona, in the meantime, welcome back striker Neymar, while Lionel Messi’s return to form after being out injured is also scary time for Manchester City.
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino wants his team to keep the ball, as he strongly believes that will limit Man City’s chances of scoring.
“Maintaining possession benefits us and it reduces City’s chances,” Martino said.
At the same time, he is remaining cautious.
“I think Manchester City is one of the greatest teams in the world right now. What I really like is Manchester City’s diversity.
“They have so many different threats; they are good at set pieces, good in the air and they score a lot of goals. Obviously, for us to defend that we will have to keep possession.”