Manchester City have trained at the Etihad Campus on Tuesday morning before flying to Spain to take on Barcelona.

Coach Pep Guardiola has chosen to train on home soil before travelling to Catalunya, where the club will forego the customary training session at the match stadium.

Uefa regulations stipulate that both sides must be afforded the chance to have a session at the ground on the day before a Champions League or Europa League fixture.

But, rather than having a run-out at the Nou Camp, Guardiola has chosen to use City’s state-of-the-art complex to finalise and convey his gameplan to his players, hoping that they can use it to beat the Spanish champions and take charge of Group C.

Tomorrow night sees the return of Pep Guardiola to his old stomping ground and an attempt to overturn a run of three games without a victory. What should his main concerns be?

  1. Messi, Neymar, Suarez reunited.

Lionel Messi returned from a 3-week layoff on Sunday in Barcelona’s fixture against Deportivo with a bang.

It took him just 3 minutes to get back on the score sheet as he latched onto a superb through-ball from Neymar, finishing superbly from an acute angle with a shot high into the roof of the net.

Since Suarez joined Barcelona, the three players have become the most feared partnership in Europe, and possibly the greatest strike force of all time having scored 276 goals in just three seasons. They have amassed 23 goals already this season.!

Manchester City and Barcelona have become familiar foes in recent years having played each other 4 times since 2014. The bad news for City is that this deadly threesome has scored 4 goals in 4 games against them


  1. Barcelona have 12 wins in 12 in the Champions League at Camp Nou

Manchester City are going to the Nou camp trying to achieve something which no team has managed to do in the last 12 Champions League games. The last team who could manage a result against Barcelona in the Nou Camp were La Liga rivals who were able to muster a hard fought 1-1 draw.

Barcelona have scored an impressive 36 goals in these 12 games and Manchester City were the victim in one of this run of these games, losing 1-0.

However, you must think that if one man knows how to stop this Barcelona team, it is the man who created the blueprint. He will not be overawed by the task at hand, it just depends whether his players can match that.

  1. Teams pressing the Manchester City backline

This has to be Guardiola’s biggest concern going into this match. He clearly has a style of play that he is trying to implement at Manchester City, but is probably 2 or 3 transfer windows away from having the correct players to adhere to his vision.

This wasn’t evident until Manchester City visited Celtic park two weeks ago in a match that many thought Manchester City would win comfortably given their impressive early season form and Celtic’s 7-0 drubbing against Barcelona in the first group stage match.


But this turned out to be far from the case, as Celtic pressed Manchester City high up the pitch, putting pressure on their centre halves who made numerous mistakes and managed to gain a 3-3 draw in an exciting game of football. It is a match that will have given hope to the Premier League, as Celtic exposed frailties in a team that was being hailed as a runaway winner of the Premier league.

This was further capitalised on by Tottenham, who completely dominated the match just a few days later. Once again Tottenham pressurised Manchester City’s back line, and employed an aggressive pressing strategy that Pochettinos teams are famous for.

However, the caveat to these performances is that City missed Kevin De Bruyne who has been one of the stand out performers in the Premier League so far this season, and is now fit to start for Manchester City again. However, Barcelona are sure to press the Manchester City back line, can they deal with it?