In what is a repeat of last season’s round of 16 tie, FC Barcelona will travel to Man City’s Etihad stadium on 24 February before hosting the current EPL champions on 18th March.
FC Barcelona versus Man City is definitely the pick of the second round ties of UEFA Champions League and coach Luis Enrique said that he is optimistic about the chances of his team against the English champions.
FC Barcelona beat Man City by 4-1 (on aggregate) last year and the Etihad Stadium based side will be eager for a revenge this time around.
Speaking about his opponents, coach Luis Enrique said that he expects a complicated game against Man City and they certainly are one of the favorites to win the Champions League this season.
Luis Enrique said: “City will be a complicated opponent. One of the candidates to win Champions League”
“We’ll have to analyze City, but the match is in February, so many things may change.”
Luis Enrique also praised Man City striker Sergio Aguero but he also stressed that Leo Messi is the best player in the world. “Aguero is amongst the top 10 players in the world, but I’ll stick with Messi as the number 1 ahead of the rest.”
“Pellegrini is a great coach. He works a lot. However, I’m always positive. I think we will knock City out.”
FC Barcelona are currently struggling for a form but Luis Enrique said that despite of their recent setbacks, the team is in a good condition.
“I never read criticism on me. My doctor told me not to do so. I see the team in a good condition. We deserved to win last match against Getafe. We always want to win, to be the best. But this doesn’t mean that you sometimes play bad matches. I like the players’ attitude. I hope evolution will come.”
Meanwhile, Man City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, who worked with FC Barcelona before joining his current employers, said that the Blues will take on the Spaniards full of confidence.
“It’s unbelievable – we don’t need to come next year,” said Begiristain. “Every tie in that draw is the same, it’s fantastic, so we’re looking forward to it.
“We have plenty of confidence with the way we qualified beating Bayern Munich at home and Roma away, so the players will be working hard to get fit and arrive in confidence for those games.”