Predicted Manchester City XI to play Barcelona - Garcia to slot into the back four

FC Barcelona

Match to be played on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 19:45 GMT. Venue: Nou Camp, Barcelona, Spain.

The Champions League second leg against Barcelona just became extra significant for Manchester City following their exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Wigan Athletic.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side have it all to do as they go into the match in Spain, chasing a 2-0 deficit which means they have to go on the offensive, which could play into Barcelona’s hands.

Here’s the side Pellegrini could go with for the game.

GK – Joe Hart

Hart will be fresh as he didn’t feature in the FA Cup defeat and he’ll also have a point to prove as he’s not always produced his best performances in Spain.

RB – Pablo Zabaleta

The experienced Argentine is the perfect player to have bombing up and down the right hand side.

CB – Vincent Kompany

Kompany should take his usual place in the centre of City’s defence. He needs to have a big game in terms of how he plays and his leadership. He cannot allow the City back four to drop too deep.

CB – Javi Garcia

With Martin Demichelis suspended, Pellegrini could ask Garcia to play in the back four. It’s a role he’s done before though he would be a big risk.

LB – Aleksandar Kolarov

Kolarov is a safer option on the left hand side than Clichy. The counter attack may be crucial for City and Kolarov can offer more of a direct goal threat in the final third.

RM – Samir Nasri

Pellegrini will want a double threat from the Frenchman. He’ll want him coming inside onto his stronger left foot but he’ll also want him to beat the Barca left-back regularly.

CM – Yaya Toure

This is a huge match for Toure going back to Barcelona. He has a point to prove and he’ll have to be near the top of his game whether he’s holding in the midfield or playing a more advanced role.

CM – Fernandinho

Fernandinho needs to be all over the pitch like a man possessed. He has to try and win the ball back in high positions, which will give City a better chance to attack quickly.

LM – David Silva

Silva should slot in on the left. He offers control of possession which is important because there are going to be large spells of this match where City don’t have the ball.

ST – Sergio Aguero

It was a boost for City fans to see Aguero leading the attack against Wigan but the side needs him to up his performance and effort levels.

ST – Alvaro Negredo

Negredo’s job is to harass both Barca centre backs throughout the game. He has to press the defence and occupy more than one player to create confusion and space.

image: © mariosp

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