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Preview: Manchester City v Barcelona

Clive Brunskill

Here we are, after a few months of anticipation and build up. I hope that you've all been following the tactical previews done on here. AJ and Zac have brought their A - game, so I guess it's up to me to do the same.

Player updates: Fernadinho is in! He trained yesterday and today, and looks set to be cleared to play. Sergio Aguero is the subject of some rampant speculation as well. As of now, he is not cleared, but there is a suspicion that he trained today as well, and might be cleared to play with a small strain (as Pablo Zabaleta did earlier in the season). Matija Nastasic is still out, but other than that things are looking good.

Projected lineup: There have been suggestions made to Pellegrini that he should play three in central midfield (Javi Garcia, Fernandinho, and Yaya), but he has brushed those aside by saying that City will be playing our standard tactics. That leaves this as the most likely lineup.

Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Fernandinho, Yaya, Navas, Silva, Jovetic, Negredo.

Samir Nasri is more likely to come off the bench either as a replacement for Navas, or for one of the strikers, giving a little more midfield stability. Lescott looks to be preferred to Demichelis, and after shutting down Eden Hazard, Willian and Etoo, could be up for it. Clichy and Kolarov is an interesting choice, as Kolarov does more offensively (free kicks and crossing). I think that Clichy's tendency to step forward and intercept passes will be more preferred, although Pellegrini has said that he is going to go all out.

Key tactical matchups: If you want to read more about this, go check out what AJ has written, followed immediately by Zac's breakdown.

Predicted scoreline: I think that this is going to be a classic. It definitely will be the best benchmark we've had as a club this season (the Bayern games were good, but not do or die). Not having Aguero is a huge blow, but I think we'll be ok with Jovetic in his usual role. 3-1 for City.


Poll below: Who would you rather play at CB (Lescott or Demichelis) and LB (Clichy or Kolarov)? Why?