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Kun Agüero is back and ready to go. / PHOTO: Manchester City

The hype is palpable. With just under a month remaining until the highly anticipated heavyweight bout between FC Barcelona and Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League, the Citizens find themselves second the Premiership, five points behind leaders Chelsea. But in the last two weeks, City have been unable to capitalise after briefly being co-leaders, as a result of an untimely 1-1 draw at Everton coupled with a 2–0 home loss to Arsenal. Adding salt to the wound was City's head-scratching home loss to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Saturday, knocking them out of the tournament.

Optimism abounds

One piece of positive news for the Citizens has been the return of Kun Agüero, the Argentinian sharpshooter who suffered a left knee injury that left him sidelined for a month before coming back for the draw with Everton on January 10th. With a string of injuries to front-line players as 2014 drew to a close, City went to the winter transfer market with its checkbook and brought home Swansea striker Wilfried Bony for the sum of 25 million euros.

Key suspension

Bony, an Ivory Coast international who is currently playing in the African Cup of Nations alongside City cohort and ex-Barça man Touré Yaya, could theoretically be called to play in the last 16 tie versus Barça since his previous team did not play in European competition this year. Yaya, however, will miss the first leg—scheduled for Tuesday, February 24th in Manchester—due to suspension.


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