18 February, 2014 - 10:33

UEFA Champions League fixtures: Manchester City v Barcelona and more

UEFA Champions League is back after winter break and Manchester City and Barcelona enter the stage

Manchester City host FC Barcelona at the Etihad in their first ever Champions League play-off round. They are two of the five best scoring squads in Europe and the clash attracts huge attention throughout Europe. Tata Martino has altered the style of the Catalan giants switching it from passing tiki-taka to a more ruthless attacking display with less posession and passes, but more crosses and counter-attacks. Manuel Pellegrini, in his turn, has added integrity to the English team and shifted their performance to a more predatory attacking one, powered by solid midfield in former Barcelona player Yaya Toure and summer signing Fernandinho. Should they find it hard to dominate the centre of the pitch against experienced Spanish midfielders, the Citizens could well exploit Barcelona weaknesses during set-pieces. Sergio Aguero will miss the first leg of the tie, but Fernandinho has trained with the teammates before the match. James Milner is suspended. Barcelona have no injury concerns.

Referee: Jonass Eriksson (Sweden)

Bayer Leverkusen meet French giants Paris Saint-Germain at BayArena and need to find a remedy against inimitable Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Sami Hyypia has several squad problems with Emre Can suspended, Emir Spahic and Eren Derdiyok doubtful and Robbie Kruse out for the rest of the season.

Referee: Viktor Kassai

Arsenal will have the most tough test against current champions Bayern Munich on Wednesday. The Gunners have recently been struck by injury problems and slipped to the second place in Premier League. Apart from long-time ansentees, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Thomas Vermaelen are doubtful for the first leg of the clash. Also, Mikel Arteta is suspended. Bayern Munich won all of their competitive matches since December Champions League game against Manchester City. Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri are the only doubts for Pep Guardiola.

Struggling AC Milan take on Atletico Madrid who have become a major power in Spain in recent years. The new manager Clarence Seedorf will have hard times picking the squad as two prolific men in midfield, Muntari and Montolivo, are suspended for the clash at San Siro. Bryan Cristante and Stephan El Shaarawy are long-time injured players, while Kaka, Cristian Zapata, Matías Silvestre, Robinho, Valter Birsa and Daniele Bonera are doubtful. The only players Diego Simeone will not be able to count on are Filipe Luis, Tiago and Javier Manquillo.

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Author: Leon Smolski

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18 February 2014, 13:08

Man, cant wait for the match, will be great to see Messi at Etihad :)

Man, cant wait for the match, will be great to see Messi at Etihad :)

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Pit Hilton
18 February 2014, 13:52


Pit Hilton's picture
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18 February 2014, 19:02

HotYaya Toure? Can't wait ... I have no options just
have to wait for the kick off time!

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