Barca may possess arguably the three greatest attackers in the modern game but they aren't so assured at the other end, believes the German legend.
Former Barca coach Guardiola returns to the Camp Nou on Wednesday evening for only the second time, four years after bringing an end to an unprecedented reign of glory yielding 14 major trophies and some of the greatest attacking football ever produced on the European stage.
However, the 45-year-old endured a nightmare homecoming while in charge of Bayern Munich in 2014/15, going down 3-0 to a Lionel Messi inspired Barca in the Champions League semi-finals (below).
And, with his Manchester City side stalling after a sublime start to the season with Saturday’s draw with Everton following a disappointing loss against Tottenham, Luis Enrique’s star-studded side go into the titanic clash as slight favourites.
However, Matthaus is confident that City can come away from the cathedral of the Camp Nou with a draw, or even better, if they isolate Barcelona’s backline.
“They have problems at the back,” the 55-year-old, who was in the Bayern Munich side that suffered a heart-breaking loss to Manchester United in Barcelona in 1999, wrote in The Sun.
“They miss Dani Alves (below) and on the left have been vulnerable without Jordi Alba, while [Javier] Mascherano is not a centre-back. Guardiola has a squad which can hurt Barca because of the pace they have.”
“[Kevin] De Bruyne, [Raheem] Sterling, Nolito and [Sergio] Aguero are one of the best attacks in Europe, especially when you then have [David] Silva at No 8.
“Pep will know the only way they can get a result is to attack.”
Barca certainly betrayed hints of vulnerability in their previous group stage match against Borussia Monchengladbach, whose jet-heeled forward pairing of Raffael and Thorgan Hazard (below, left) caused frequent problems on the break.
However, with Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar at the other end, City will need to make their chances count.