All set to watch the two giants of European football clash in the Champions League, tonight?
With both team second in their respective league tables, they are coming to the game with their own agendas. Manchester City will be seeking revenge after a 4-1 aggregate loss to Barcelona at the same stage last season. Whereas, Barcelona will be looking to bounce back from the humiliating 0-1 loss to Malaga at home, the last weekend. Here’s 5 key battles to look forward to in the most anticipated clash of the week!
Sergio Aguero vs. Gerard Pique
The diminutive City striker has been in prime form, scoring 22 goals in 30 appearances this season and will look to hassle Gerard Pique. Aguero with his serious pace will relish the upcoming battle as Pique has been in prime form in Barcelona’s 11 game winning run this season.
David Silva vs. Sergio Busquets
Silva, in a central role can be at his devastating best, supplying the forwards with through balls. Busquets, often the under- rated man at Camp Nou will look to stop the Spanish play-maker from controlling the game.
Pablo Zabaleta vs. Neymar
Neymar, with his magical touches has scored 17 goals with 4 assists this season, and has combined well with Messi and Suarez. On the other hand, Zabaleta who is regarded as one of Premier League’s best defenders will have his hands full facing this le joia (gem).
Messi vs. Clichy
The former Arsenal left-back, Clichy will face the rejuvenated Barcelona striker, who has scored 26 goals with 13 assists this season. Known for his brilliant assist for Robin Van Persie’s goal in the 2011 Champions League match against Barcelona, will he be able to cut Barca’s midfield supply of through balls to Messi?
Coach: Luis Enrique vs. Manuel Pellegrini
Enrique, after enduring a stormy first few months at the Nou Camp, has brought Barcelona back on track. With his team playing the plug and play tactic, he will look to lead Barca into the quarterfinals for the ninth straight season. Pellegrini, on the other hand has had a relatively quiet season with early exits in the FA Cup and League Cup, and will look to bounce back strongly in the Champions League.
With both teams looking for a win in this pulsating game, the stake couldn’t be higher!
By Shlomoh Divekar