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UNITED FALL SHORT

Manchester United signed themselves in the midst of a very important time in the season where they could potentially lose everything. The club are still in with a shout to finish in the top four and qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, although it is looking highly unlikely in itself.

They are nine points behind fourth placed Manchester City, who have two more games in hand. This could potentially put them at a huge disadvantage since finishing in the top four gives Champions League football for next season.

Further, they are on the verge of being knocked out of Europe’s Premier competition after suffering a 2-0 defeat against Olympiakos in the first leg. The return leg will be at home, which provides the club with some confidence that they can overturn this deficit. Prior to that, they have to focus on the league match with Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Former defender Gary Neville says that this is a much bigger match than the midweek Champions League encounter primarily because this is a derby. He also says that there is more at stake in this match since it could help them get back into the race for the top four with a win.

United are coming to the encounter with reasonable confidence after a 3-0 win over West Brom last weekend.
“If you were say to me ‘which game are they more likely to win 4-0 or 3-0?’ it would be Olympiakos. That’s the game. Even just to win the match, it would be the easiest of the four. West Ham on the Saturday will be tough and City and Liverpool go without saying. For me, the game they are more likely to win is Olympiakos. It’s whether they can win it by the scoreline they desire,” said Neville.

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CITY VS BARCA

There is no doubt whatsoever that Barcelona’s visit to the Etihad Stadium as the Catalan club will be locking horns to face off against Manchester City is the most anticipated match to watch in this campaign of the Champions League.

Both teams have a star studded squad with the likes of Messi, Iniesta and Xavi leading the way for Barcelona while Manchester City has Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure as the backbone of the Premier League club.

Both are going through similar situations when you compare their locations on their respective leagues although Barcelona does have an edge as they are at the top of the Spanish league, La Liga meanwhile Manchester are fighting to snatch the top spot in the Premier League along with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool as their main direct rivals.

Probable Starting Lineup

Barcelona

Valdes

Montoya-Pique-Bartra-Adriano

Xavi-Song-Iniesta

Neymar-Messi-Sanchez

Manchester City

Hart

Kompany-Zabaleta-Clichy-Demichelis

Milner-Toure-Silva-Navas

Negredo-Aguero

Match Prediction

Both teams will be going all out in search for a good result that can help them stay more relaxed when they meet once more during the 2nd leg which will be played at the home turf of Barcelona, Camp Nou.

Manchester City campaign so far has been like a roller-coaster ride with a resounding 5-1 victory against Tottenham and some weeks later having to settle with a goalless draw against Norwich City.

Barcelona on the other hand has been far more consistent with convincing performances every week and every match they play and even when Lionel Messi was out injured, they still managed to cope well during the absence of the Argentine superstar.

It’s a battle between 2 European powerhouses but its hard to see Barcelona losing against Manchester City even if it is going to be played at the Etihad Stadium, Messi is roaring to come back and perform for his team at an important stage such as Champions League.

Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2