Millennium Post

Champions League: city face uphill task against Barca

Champions League: city face uphill task against Barca
Barcelona’s next five days will ultimately define whether their season is a success or failure as they start the period by entertaining Manchester City at Camp Nou on Wednesday in their Champions League last 16 tie. Barcelona must defend a 2-1 first leg lead against the English champions before hosting Real Madrid on Sunday in a game which will almost certainly decide the destination of La Liga.

Luis Enrique’s side are almost at full strength and rested from the weekend as several key players such as Jordi Alba, Javier Mascherano, Dani Alves and Andres Iniesta were all rested or suspended for the 2-0 win away to Eibar. Sergio Busquets in the only player who is likely to miss out as an ankle injury he suffered a fortnight ago means he is still touch and go to be fit for the weekend.

Busquets’ absence means the only doubt will be who fills his absence in midfield and Enrique must decide whether to continue with Rafinha in the middle or put his faith in Xavi Hernandez or push Mascherano into a more advanced role and bring either Jeremy Matthieu or Marc Bartra in alongside Gerard Pique in defence. City travel to Camp Nou on the back of a dreadful display that saw them outfought and defeated 0-1 away to relegation candidates Burnley at the weekend. That defeat saw them slip six points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.
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