Feb 16, 2014, 10:32 AM EST
With the Champions League knockout stages just around the corner, members of Tuesday’s marquee matchup have already begun the puffing of the chests.
Manchester City and Barcelona square off in the round of 16, and both clubs think they are the better side.
With Samir Nasri having returned for the Sky Blues from injury this weekend, he told English media, “Tuesday is a massive game. Every player wants to play those kind of games – Champions League, last 16, against Barcelona. The good thing is we are really strong. We have our confidence back.”
After pumping his team up, the French winger didn’t wish to leave his opponents out of the conversation either. “I think they are weaker than they were two years ago,” Nasri said. “It’s going to be a tight game and an interesting game for everyone.”
Barcelona manager Gerardo Martinez doesn’t think so. He believes with a healthy Lionel Messi and Neymar both on form, it’s the perfect time for the two to come together.
“We face the match against Manchester City in very good form,” Martino told reporters in Spain. “It is probably the best time to play this Champions League leg, regardless of the opponent. Physically we are just great, and we have got all of our players available and healthy.”
The Barcelona bossman was not shy about their strategy coming into the match, but it will surprise exactly no one. “If we can keep the ball for more time then we will reduce the chances they have and give ourselves a better opportunity,” Martino declared.
Surprise! Barcelona will try to hold the ball!
Both Messi and Neymar scored world-class goals in the past few days, and the news will be great for Barcelona fans as they maintain a goal-differential lead in La Liga and head into the knockout stage of the Champions League on a very high note.
- Player Ratings: Some good, some not so good in Chile’s 3-2 win over the U.S. 8
- Chile 3-2 USMNT: Another lead disintegrates for Klinsmann’s crew 1
- Sheffield United 2-2 Tottenham: Eriksen sees Spurs to All-London final in absolute thriller 2
- Africa Cup of Nations roundup: Lots will be drawn to determine second place in Group D 0
- Queens Park Rangers’ Canadian winger Junior Hoilett on Toronto FC, relegation battles and more 0
- English FA charge Chelsea’s Diego Costa with violent conduct after stamp, may miss Man City match 1