FC Barcelona will face Manchester City in the knockout round of the Champions League. The tie will kick off on February 18 in Manchester and it will conclude on March 12 at the Camp Nou. The Citizens and the Culés were the first pairing of the draw.
Manchester City are one of the strongest teams to finish second in their Champions League group. Manuel Pellegrini, a manager well known in the Spanish league, took charge of the 2011/12 English champions this summer and he’s seen to it to add world class players to his already deep roster: Fernandinho, Jovetic, Navas, Negredo and Demichelis.
On Manchester City’s roster are players like ‘Kun’ Agüero, David Silva, Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko and former FC Barcelona player Yaya Touré, who will face off against his former team-mates after leaving the Catalan Club three and a half years ago. His brother, Kolo Touré, left the Citizens this summer for Liverpool.
Despite their enormous potential, this is the first time Manchester City have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League. In the past two seasons, the English side were surprisingly eliminated from the competition in the group stage. This year, they were a goal away from winning their group, which contained Bayern Munich, Viktoria Plzen and CSKA Moscow. Pellegrini’s men also managed to beat the reigning champions of the competition this season.
In the Premier League City they are fourth on 32 points, three adrift of the league leaders, Arsenal. They have shown themselves to be especially dangerous at the Etihad, where they’ve won all of their matches. In addition to winning all 24 points at home, they average 4.4 goals per game at Etihad Stadium.
They do struggle away from home, however. Away from Manchester, they’ve won twice, tied twice and lost four times in the Premier League.