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With Barça and Manchester City again drawn together in the last 16 of the Champions League, we take a look at the changes at the two clubs since their last meeting.
Changes across the board
Barça: Thirteen of the players who were in the squad to face Manchester City last season should be in the reckoning to play against them again in February. Here are the changes at the Club since last year’s game:
- Coach: Luis Enrique took over the team in the summer and oversaw the signing of a total of nine new players across all areas of the team.
- Goalkeeper: Ter Stegen,Claudio Bravo and Jordi Masip all came in over the summer, with Ter Stegan so far taking on European duties and Bravo the keeper in the league.
- Defence: Jérémy Mathieu, Douglas and Vermaelen have all joined, but Luis Enrique has also kept the same basic structure at the back.
- Midfield: SergioBusquets,Xavi and Andrés Iniesta continue to boss the Barça midfield, with summer signings Ivan Rakitic and Rafinha also getting plenty of game time.
- Forwards: Luis Suárez was the summer’s headline signing and he has formed a fearsome front three with Messi and Neymar – the three have bagged 13 goals in the six group games they have so far played together upfront – more than the totals for six of the teams in the knockout round.
Fewer changes at City
Manchester City: After taking the Premier League title last year, Manuel Pellegrini chose to consolidate his side as he entered his second season in charge, bringing in five new faces:
- Goalkeeper: England number 1 Joe Hart continues as the main keeper, with ex-Malaga keeper Willy Caballero joining up with his ex-boss as back up.
- Defence: Sagna and Mangala have been brought in to strengthen City at the back, where Kompany and Demichelis – the two centre backs who played against Barça last season – continue.
- Midfield: With Touré Yayá, Fernandinho, Kolarov, Navas, David Silva, Milner and Nasri still forming the backbone of the midfield, Pellegrini has also added Frank Lampard and Fernando, who both played a big part in the team’s final two group stage wins.
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