Man City face another Champions League Last 16 exit for the second straight year unless the Premier League champions can go to Spanish giants Barcelona and overturn a 2-1 defeat from the first leg.
It could have been worse for City when Joe Hart saving a Lionel Messi penalty in injury time in the first leg but it is still a big test for Manuel Pellegrini’s men to go the La Liga leaders and win by a two-goal margin.
Under-fire Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini’s wants to see an improved performance from his team and said if they want to qualify, they need to beat Barca at their own game.
“It’s important to fight Barcelona for the ball but they dominate possession against all opponents,” said the Chilean.
“We have to keep the ball once we gain control of it. We want to give Barcelona problems regaining the ball once we have it.
“We need to play like we did in the second half of the first leg. For part of the first half Barça controlled the game but in the second half we had chances. We need to play 11 v 11 and then we have a team that can play like we did in the second half.”
Barcelona play Real Madrid in El Clasico this weekend but gaffer Luis Enrique said his players are only focused on tonight’s game and that they must keep focus against a strong Man City side.
“There’s only one match on our minds and that’s the one against City. Not the Clasico,” said the 44-year-old.
“It would be dangerous to play a cagey match. Our objective is to win and play better than our opponents. A place in the next round is at stake.
“I don’t think last season’s game is anything to go by because both sides have changed players. You can’t qualify just by playing one of the two games very well. We need to play well too and see if we can beat City again.”
Barcelona will be without midfielder Sergio Busquets who has an ankle injury, while defender Thomas Vermalen is a long-term absentee with a hamstring problem.
Man City are without the suspended Gael Clichy who is suspended after his red card in Manchester, but welcome back Yaya Toure to their Champions League squad after serving a three-match ban.