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Barcelona Trying To Clinch Ticket To Round Of 16 Against Manchester City

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FC BarcelonaBarcelona F.C travels to Etihad Stadium to clinch its ticket to the round of 16 against a Manchester City team that badly needs a win to avoid falling behind in a group that has Borussia Monchengladbach breathing down its neck.

Barcelona leads Group C with nine points in three games, while the Citizens are second with four, one more than the German team. The main concern for Pep Guardiola’s squad is that if they lose this game and Monchengladbach win against Celtic at home, they would trail the Germans by two points with a visit to Borussia-Park pending.

The first match on October 19 between these two sides at Camp Nou ended with a 4-0 in favor of the Catalans with a hat trick by Lionel Messi. Barcelona has won all five games they have played against the Citizens in this competition, including three visits to Etihad Stadium.

If Barcelona repeats that feat once again and Monchengladbach fails to win at Borussia-Park against Celtic, they would clinch the ticket to the next round as group winners.  If they fail to get three points, as little as a tie could clinch a Barcelona’s ticket to the next round, but they would still have to fight for the lead of the group in the remaining two games.

Injury wise Barcelona has to deal with the absences of defenders Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Jeremy Mathieu and Aleix Vidal as well as midfielder Andres Iniesta.

For Manchester City starting goalkeeper Claudio Bravo will miss this game due the red card he saw at Camp Nou on Ocotber 19. Argentine keeper Willy Caballero will start in place of the ejected Chilean.

Manchester City arrives to this match revitalized after defeating West Brom 4-0 on the road with two goals by Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan each. They are both expected to start for the leaders of the Premier League.

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