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FC Barcelona can book their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League if they can make it four wins from their fourth group stage match against Manchester City on Tuesday night.
The two sides met just two weeks ago where Barça comfortably brushed their opponents aside, meaning that Pep Guardiola’s team will be fully intent on avenging the 4-0 defeat at Camp Nou.
Arda Turan has recovered from the injury he picked up during the Catalunya Super Cup against Espanyol, and is now at Luis Enrique’s disposal. On the other hand, Gerard Piqué, Andrés Iniesta, Jordi Alba, Aleix Vidal and Jérémy Mathieu are all ruled out through injury.
While City have welcomed back Kevin De Bruyne from injury in recent weeks, Guardiola is still without right-backs Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta, as well as midfielder Fabian Delph.
Despite having qualification almost wrapped up, Luis Enrique is intent on getting the job done as soon as possible: "We want to be first in the group for that reason we have to win here against the toughest rival."
Guardiola was under no illusions about the importance of the game for his side after dropping points against Celtic and losing at the Camp Nou, describing it as “a final”.
The former Barça boss said: “What would I like to see? That we get three points which will give us more time to work. In just three months, it is impossible to be close to what we are looking for, but this duel is already like a final for us.”
Things are looking bright from Barça’s perspective as they are on a run of four straight wins since defeat to Celta Vigo at the start of the month, which includes that 4-0 win over the Citizens a fortnight ago.
City will enter the game feeling slightly better about themselves after recording their first win in seven games over the weekend, beating West Bromwich Albion 4-0 away from home thanks to a brace each from Sergio Agüero and İlkay Gündoğan.
Barça have won all five of the meetings between the sides this decade. The pair met in two successive campaigns in the second round of the competition, first in 2013/14 which Barça won 4-1 on aggregate and 3-1 overall in 2014/15.
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