Messi and Aguero
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Bold Man City can turn the tables and beat brilliant Barcelona

| 18.03.2015

Manchester City should arrive at the Nou Camp, where they are 7/1 with Coral to win over 90 minutes, with both trepidation and optimism.

After all, the Etihad outfit need just two goals to overturn Barcelona’s 2-1 advantage from their first-leg thriller. Had Lionel Messi converted his penalty, the damage could have been much worse, and the challenge a lot tougher.

As it stands, the Citizens, who were outclassed last time out in Europe, have a second chance to put in a performance worthy of English champions.

Speaking ahead of the crunch clash, creative fulcrum David Silva seemed bullish about his side’s chances, reminding: “Everybody wrote Schalke off before they played Real Madrid but they won 4-3 and could have scored again, which would have put them through – nobody predicted that.

“Not many thought PSG could beat Chelsea, especially with only 10 men for so long, so I know that everything can happen,” added the skillful Spain artist.

City will certainly need subtle Silva, who has scored 10 in 23 league outings this season, to be at his scheming best in his homeland if they are to compete.

The crafty playmaker is a 12/1 punt to poach the first goal, while former Barca boy Yaya Toure is 5/1 to complement Silva’s silk with steel and strike anytime.

Top Sky Blues scorer Sergio Aguero gave Manuel Pellegrini’s men hope by grabbing a late consolation at the Etihad. At 7/1 to strike the final blow, or 2/1 in the anytime market, the Argentine is excellent value to net at the Nou Camp.

While City have stumbled since their dismantling by the Catalan club, losing two of their past three outings, Barca have gone from strength to strength.

Five triumphs on the trot across all competitions after their Etihad outing makes the Spanish giants odds-on at 2/5 for victory again.

Customers can enjoy an exciting matchday special, however, and back Barca at brilliant odds of 2/1 to win in 90 minutes and both teams to score (maximum stake £20).

Both teams bagged goals in Barcelona when they faced each other last season and majestic Messi was the first to draw blood.

The superstar (3/1 to fire home first again) is in scintillating form with eight goals and two assists in seven European games, while Luis Suarez is 6/1 to bag a brace or better after scoring twice in Manchester.

Barca veteran Andres Iniesta (7/2 to breach the Sky Blues’ backline anytime) has been keeping his boyhood club’s midfield running like clockwork this campaign. Speaking before what could be his 575th appearance for La Liga leaders he said:

“This is the Champions League and Manchester City have great players – they can really turn the situation upside down for us.

“They’re very dangerous because of their players – in just one minute they can turn the result.”

Despite his generous words, City will need Vincent Kompany and co to put in a career defining performance, and shackle Barcelona’s terrific trio, if they are to pull off what would be a truly impressive show of force.

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Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.