It’s 90 minutes of Champions League football that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has called a final, but only for his team.
City have amassed just four points going into tonight’s crunch clash against the Spanish champions.
They were thumped 4-0 in Spain, leaving them one point ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach. Guardiola is expected to start Sergio Aguero as he looks to make up the points lost in the last two games.
Aguero watched on from the substitutes bench at the Nou Camp but after playing a starring role against West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday, the 28-year-old looks set to spearhead the Cityzen’s attack.
But it doesn’t bode well for the men from Manchester.
Not only have they lost all five of their previous games against Luis Enrique’s men, they’ve had a player sent off in four of those matches with keeper Claudio Bravo seeing red in the away leg of this fixture. Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna and Fabian Delph join him in missing out, but through injury.
Willy Caballero deputises for the former Barcelona shot stopper.
Barcelona do have injuries which might give City a glimmer of hope. Captain Andres Iniesta and defenders Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Aleix Vidal are all absent. Jeremy Mathieu does not make the trip to Manchester having been sent off in their first meeting.
As usual all eyes will be on the feared MSN strike force and Lionel Messi, in particular, heads to Manchester on fire, having bagged hat-tricks in the opening two games this season, both against British opposition.