Martino / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Manuel Pellegrini explained this Monday that City’s challenge in tomorrow’s game is “to preserve our style and personality.” His FC Barcelona counterpart, Gerardo Martino, agrees: “City’s profile is similar to ours, perhaps they are more direct, but their players tend to want the ball. In a match with two teams that base their play off of possession, the team that doesn’t have the ball will suffer more.”
Maintaining possession benefits us and it reduces City’s chances
In this sense, Martino believes it’s vital to keep possession. “Maintaining possession benefits us and it reduces City’s chances,” he said as he admitted that his team’s objectives are to control the game and score at the Etihad.

Martino was also asked about Manchester City’s attacking power. “They are a dangerous team. The fact that they’re the highest scoring team in the Premier League shows that they are difficult to control, and when we have to defend, we’ll defend. The best way to counteract them is to take the ball away from them,” said Martino.
The fact that they’re the highest scoring team in the Premier League shows that they are difficult to control
The FC Barcelona manager believes that both teams come into the match “on form,” and he noted that “City are one of the best teams in the world.”

When asked about Agüero’s absence, he was clear: “As a fan I lament his absence, but as a manager he’s one less problem I have to worry about.”

On Neymar Jr possible inclusion in the starting line-up, Martino said, “what we value most is his health. We have to decide if he’ll start the match or like the other day, on the bench.”