Manchester City XI: Caballero, Zabaleta (C), Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva, Sterling, De Bruyne, Aguero
Substitutes: Gunn, Nolito, Navas, Clichy, Kompany, Iheanacho, Fernando
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Roberto, Mascherano, Umtiti, Digne, Busquets, Rakitic, Gomes, Messi, Neymar, Suarez
Manchester City found their mojo at the right time when they whacked four past West Brom at the weekend. It was right before what Pep Guardiola calls their ‘final’. He’s not wrong. City were the ones who had four whacked past them the last time they faced Barcelona. But that scoreline wasn’t the clearest reflection of the match. Guardiola’s side were holding their own, albeit holding their own and trailing, when Claudio Bravo’s moment of madness derailed everything.
That was only one of several costly defensive mistakes City made that night. Three of Barcelona’s four goals came directly from the errors of City defenders. While Guardiola won’t change his approach of playing out from the back, he mightn’t crucify anyone for hoofing it from time to time. Fans are expecting a more adventurous with Sergio Aguero leading the line.