For the second year, Barcelona and Manchester City will be meeting in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, as the team from England would definitely try and avenge their defeats from last season. About one year ago, the result from the two matches between the squads was 4:1 in favor of the club from Catalunya. Will it be any different this time – we will know very soon. The first game will be played in Manchester, on 24/02/2016 at 20:45 CET.
For City, this is just their second appearance in the Round of 16, while for Barcelona it is their 11th in a row. Lionel Messi and company are the favorites to win the first match, even though it will be played in England. Last season, when both squads played in Manchester, Barcelona was able to get a 2:0 win, thanks to goals from Messi and Daniel Alves. However, the Citizens had one of their men sent off in the game and this greatly influenced the final result. If Manuel Pellegrini’s men find a way not to get red cards, the match could be a lot more competitive than last year.
Nevertheless, even with 11 players on the pitch, it’s very optimistic to say that City can defeat Barcelona. The English side isn’t a famous Champions League warrior and recently they haven’t exactly posted good results in the tournament. City has won only three of their last ten European home fixtures, which isn’t a very positive record. Manchester City has never made the quarter-finals in the team’s history, but in Pellegrini they have a coach that has been there with Villarreal (2006 and 2009) and Malaga (2012).
Barcelona on the other hand is seeking and eighth consecutive quarter-final appearance. The Blagurana’s record in England isn’t what people call spectacular – 8 Wins, 8 draws and 14 Losses – but against City, they shouldn’t have a lot of problems. The Catalan club has been playing great lately, even though they were defeated in their last game in Primera Division. Messi and Neymar have been clicking on all cylinders, forming a very efficient offensive line that is surely looking very scary to City’s defenders.
It will surely be a very exciting game to watch and if you love football, don’t dare to miss it. Nevertheless, in my opinion I think that Barcelona will be able to defeat Manchester City, as the Catalonian club is just one class above their British opponents. My prediction is for a result same as last season – 2:0 in favor of Barcelona.