Manchester City have drawn Barcelona in the Round of 16 of the Champions League. It was going to be a difficult task no matter who City drew given the possible opponents. Barcelona have been a machine over the years, but I like this matchup. It will definitely be a fun challenge and I think we match up with them quite nicely. On the flip side, I'm sure we're the one team Barca fans didn't want to draw, so there's that.
The first leg will be played at the Etihad on February 18 and the return leg at the Camp Nou on March 12. With Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas, Sergio Aguero, and Martin Demichelis in the squad, City have plenty of experience against Barca and in particular, playing that tricky away game at Barca. It'll certainly be a special occasion for Yaya Toure as well. Oh, and did I mention City fans will be treated to Lionel Messi in Manchester? Who'd have ever thought that could be a possibility even 5-6 years ago? City will have gone from surviving relegation in 16th place in 03-04 to hosting the world's best player in 13-14. How much one decade (and a lot of money) can change things.
The rest of the draw:
+ Zenit St. Petersburg v Borussia Dortmund -- (Interesting tie)
+ Arsenal v Bayern Munich -- (Ha!)
+ Milan v Atletico Madrid -- (Should be exciting)
+ Olympiakos v United -- (The Greeks will be pleased with such an easy draw)
+ Leverkusen v PSG -- (Zlatan. That is all)
+ Galatasaray v Chelsea -- (Tasty, tasty matchup. Drogba back at the Bridge)
+ Schalke v Real Madrid -- (Unfortunate, but doable for the Germans)
In other news, Aguero has been ruled out a month with the calf problem he picked up just after halftime against Arsenal. This comes at a very unfortunate time with the busy Christmas period just ahead. Thankfully, as we all know, City have great depth and indeed, Stevan Jovetic is back and has been deemed available by Pellegrini. Along with Joe Hart, Jovetic could feature against Leicester in the Capital One Cup tomorrow. Aguero was in scintillating form and easily the Premier League's second hottest striker (after the absurd Luis Suarez) and hopefully Negredo, Dzeko, and Jovetic will pick up the slack.
On a side note, Tottenham have sacked AVB this morning. Bit of a shock to me. I thought they were interested in the long-term with him. I don't expect we'll see him managing another English side for a while.
And finally, a funny video from City's own John Guidetti to help anyone with a case of the Mondays get into the holiday spirit.