Barcelona offer Manchester City toughest test to date

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Free-scoring Manchester City will face the toughest test yet of their European credentials when they face European aristocrats Barcelona in the first leg of the standout tie of the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday.

Both teams will start what promises to be a memorable duel at the Etihad Stadium boosted by superb wins on Saturday, with City returning to their best form in beating Chelsea 2-0 in the FA Cup and Barcelona crushing Rayo Vallecano 6-0 in La Liga.

Both were also boosted by the return of important players after injury.

Samir Nasri came on as a second-half substitute for City after missing seven games and scored City’s second against Chelsea within minutes of his arrival while Neymar also returned as a substitute in the second half for the Spanish champions to score a stunning goal after four matches out to complete Barca’s scoring.

Neymar is likely to be on the bench at the start on Tuesday, which may offer some relief for the home team, who will probably have to raise their already impressive game to even greater heights if they are to knock out the four-times European champions.