CONFIRMED TEAMS: Manchester City vs Barcelona
Manchester City vs Barcelona Kick Off 1945 at The City of Manchester Stadium
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Navas, Toure, Fernandinho, Kolarov, Silva, Negredo.
Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, J Alba, Sergio, Xavi, Fabregas, Alexis, Messi, Iniesta.
We have been licking our now heavily chapped lips all week in anticipation of this game. We are still deciding whether the newish Champions League knockout stage ‘staggered’ format is to our liking.
While it takes some of the intensity and feast-like fun out of match days, it also provides us with an opportunity to assess all of the teams in greater detail. In abstract terms, it means that we get to see more football, so it can’t be a bad thing.
And what an absolute belter of a game we have tonight. Both teams look irresistible on paper. Manchester City are the great pretenders to every trophy going with their new money and fantastic squad of players. We have been disappointed with some of their performances in Europe over the last couple of years. But it just goes to show that experience is so important in this competition. Manchester City may have all the money in the world but they can’t buy that experience. They will have to gain it over time.
And tonight they will get some fantastic experience, whatever the score. Barcelona have been the pre-eminent team in Europe over the last 5 years. They have won the trophy twice – both times against Manchester United!
We just hope that Manchester City can transfer their domestic brilliance to The Champions League this evening.
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