It will be an emotional night for the Barcelona fans and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola when Barcelona take on Manchester City in the third game of the UEFA Champions League group stage. Guardiola had served the Blaugrana for years both as a player and a manager and led them to multiple major honours during his tenure at the club. A hunt for a new challenge in his career took him to Bayern Munich and then to Manchester City but Barcelona remains a special club in his heart.
After a 100% start to the season, Manchester City have undergone a mini-crisis now that they are winless in their last three games. The honeymoon period of Guardiola is well over at the Etihad and Barcelona will be a huge challenge in his way. With a loss to Spurs and two draws against Celtic and Everton in their last three games, the fans are a bit concerned and Barcelona can realistically add further woes to them.
Barcelona suffered a shock defeat themselves before the international break, losing 3-4 to Celta Vigo but responded with a 4-0 rout against Deportivo on Saturday. Luis Enrique’s boys will be all fired up for the game and we can expect a cracker of a game at Camp Nou between two attacking sides.
Luis Enrique will miss Jasper Cillessen through an ankle injury. Both Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba are expected to clear fit for the game. Lionel Messi is likely to get his first start following his comeback from injury.
Sergio Aguero is expected to return to Manchester City’s starting line-up. The striker came off the bench in Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw against Everton. Skipper Vincent Kompany is fit for the match. Fabian Delph (unspecified) and Bacary Sagna (hamstring) remain sidelined.
Barcelona (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Manchester City (4-1-4-1): Bravo; Zabaleta, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov; Fernandinho; Sterling, Silva, De Bruyne, Nolito; Aguero
Barcelona- Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi made his comeback from injury against Deportivo and showed what he is capable of doing by scoring a goal off the bench. The Argentine superstar will start against Pep’s side on the right flank and will be looking to pull the strings with his excellent passing ability and flair. Messi will be the one to watch out for when Barcelona take on Manchester City.
Manchester City- Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne is the key playmaker for Manchester City. The Belgian playmaker missed a penalty against Everton as the Sky Blues could only salvage a draw against the Toffees. He will be looking to right his wrongs with a good display against Barcelona.
Barcelona – 4/7
Draw – 7/2
Man City – 9/2