With Manuel Pellegrini’s side facing the Spanish giants in the Champions League tonight, who would get into a collective side between the two teams?
The sides have been paired in the Champions League knockout rounds, with the winner sure to be one of the favourites for the tournament this season.
However, with so much quality on show, who would make it into a combined XI of the two sides?
GK – Victor Valdes
The Spain international will leave Camp Nou in the near future, and has been linked with a move to City. He has been a consistent figure in Barcelona’s success over the last decade and gets the nod ahead of Joe Hart.
RB – Pablo Zabaleta
One of the toughest positions to pick, Zabaleta edges out Dani Alves, but only just. While the Brazilian has been one of the top attacking full-backs in the game for years, the Argentine is one of City’s unsung stars.
LB – Jordi Alba
One of the most devastating attacking left-backs in Europe, Alba gets the nod ahead of City’s pair due to his rounded game.
CB – Vincent Kompany
City’s captain would get into most teams in world football, and is a must here. With Barcelona in the market for a new centre-half, the Spanish side would love to have someone like Kompany in their ranks.
CB – Gerard Pique
With Carles Puyol ageing, Pique is Barcelona’s top defender and would be an ideal partner for Kompany in the City side.
RW – Andres Iniesta
The Spain international has recently signed a new contract with the Catalan club, and had no shortage of suitors. Iniesta is the heartbeat of Barcelona’s side, with his creativity and ability outstanding.
LW – Neymar
Gets the nod ahead of David Silva due to his individual ability and eye for goal. Recovered from injury recently and should feature against City tonight.
CM – Xavi
The assist king, Xavi has been a constant figure for club and country for the majority of his career. Despite getting older, the veteran is still one of the best central midfielders in the world.
CM – Yaya Toure
The Ivorian will face his former club for the first time tonight and has grown considerably as a player since leaving Spain. Barcelona could well regret selling the African midfielder after tonight’s encounter.
FW – Lionel Messi
A mainstay in any team, Messi will take some stopping after looking back to his best of late.
FW – Sergio Aguero
City’s attacking talisman will miss the clash but would be the ideal partner for his Argentine compatriot Messi. With Aguero not available there is real emphasis on Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo to get the goals to give the English side the advantage.
Quite the team! With no Dani Alves, Fernandinho, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas, David Silva or Alexis Sanchez, the quality on show in these two sides is simply incredible.
image: © geetarchurchy