"We know we need to play almost perfectly to win," conceded Manchester City boss Josep Guardiola, classing Barcelona wide men Neymar and Lionel Messi as "almost unstoppable".
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- Guardiola says City "need to play almost perfectly to win" on Tuesday
- Messi hit hat-trick as Barcelona won 4-0 when sides met a fortnight ago
- City are 12 matches unbeaten at home, dating back to 20 March
- Barcelona, one of three teams with 100% record, a point away from last 16
Manchester City: Caballero; Fernandinho, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov; Fernando, Gündoğan; De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Agüero.
Out: Claudio Bravo (suspended), Delph (knock), Sagna (hamstring)
Doubtful: Zabaleta (foot)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Mascherano, Umtiti, Digne; Rakitić, Busquets, Rafinha; Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar.
Out: Alba (hamstring), Iniesta (knee), Mathieu (suspended), Piqué (ankle), Vidal (unspecified)
Josep Guardiola, Man. City manager
We know we need to play almost perfectly to win but we will give it a go – and, if not, we will congratulate them on the way they played and set our minds on the game in Monchengladbach. In the first half we played well at Camp Nou but obviously their wide players are almost unstoppable. We have important players out too.
Luis Enrique, Barcelona coach
I expect the same type of game as the last one. I don't think they can be any more aggressive in terms of pressing than last time. They were pressing us up to the stand almost. I expect a similar script. Both teams want the same thing – to make the pitch as big as possible when they have the ball. If they leave spaces behind, we will take advantage. They are identical philosophies.
We want to be first in the group. We will have to play very well, with and without the ball. City know how to occupy space. We are going to have to play at our top, top level. They are a team with personality. We can be impressed by what [Guardiola] has done in three months. I love his philosophy, I love his ideas. Every month that goes by, they will improve. It will just mean they will get better. The immediate future is promising for them.
West Brom 0-4 Man. City (Agüero 19 28, Gündoğan 79 90)
City's six-game winless streak came to an explosive halt, Sergio Agüero ending his own eight-match barren spell with two goals before İlkay Gündoğan chipped in with his second and third strikes for his new club.
Barcelona 1-0 Granada (Rafinha 48)
Rafinha returned from a rib injury to score Barcelona's winner, darting in at the back post to get his fifth goal in six Liga appearances this season.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Man. City: WLDLDL
Reporter's view: Simon Hart (@UEFAcomSimonH)
Guardiola did not try to hide the size of City’s task in this fixture – after all, he conceded that Barcelona's two wide attackers, Lionel Messi and Neymar, were almost "unstoppable". In this sense, City are not helped by the potential absence of both their two full-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna, which means Guardiola may play one of his defensive midfielders – Fernandinho or Fernando – in the role.
On the positive side though, in Agüero, City have a player who looks fully fired up again after starting on the bench in Barcelona; he netted twice against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and put in an impressive shift pressing from the front. City will need more of the same tomorrow right across the pitch, and a hefty slice of luck too.
Did you know?
City's home record against Spanish sides is W3 D3 L2, both defeats coming against Barcelona. Find out more gems in our treasure trove of a match background.