Barcelona game is a final for Man City, says Guardiola

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Champions League preview: Can Man City stop Barcelona?

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Manchester City’s Champions League group game at home to Barcelona needs to be treated like a final, says manager Pep Guardiola.

City lost the away leg 4-0 in Spain and are second in Group C, one point in front of Borussia Monchengladbach.

Sergio Aguero is expected to start for City on Tuesday, and right-back Pablo Zabaleta could be available.

“We dropped two points against Celtic, so we have to recover those points,” said the former Barcelona manager.

“It’s not a final for them, it is a final for us.”

Aguero started the game at the Nou Camp on the bench but, following two goals in a win over West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday, is expected to start.

“We have to be focused for 90 minutes, knowing they are going to provoke mistakes because of the quality they have,” added Guardiola.

“But we had a few chances [in the first game] and have to keep going in that sense and try to finish better than we did in Barcelona.

“We will try. I have never entered a match thinking we can’t win but we have to play almost perfectly.”

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Comparing Aguero and Suarez unfair – Guardiola

City see red against Barca

City have lost all five of their previous games against Barcelona and had a player sent off in four of those matches, with keeper Claudio Bravo shown a red card the last time out.

Bravo will be replaced by Willy Caballero on Tuesday.

“It’s always difficult against Barcelona 11 v 11. When it’s 10 v 11, it’s almost impossible,” added Guardiola.

“But at that level it’s impossible to achieve your targets [if you don’t keep your discipline]. It’s football. Football is a game of mistakes.”

Barcelona missing several key men

Barcelona are without injured captain Andres Iniesta and defenders Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Aleix Vidal and Jeremy Mathieu, who was sent off in their first meeting.

Midfielder Arda Turan has recovered from injury and is fit to play. Brazil Under-21 defender Marlon had to get a later flight to Manchester after forgetting his passport.

Barca boss Luis Enrique said: “It will be an encounter of identical philosophies, similar to what we saw at Camp Nou.

“We will have to put in a big effort – be effective with and without the ball. The key will be to limit their thinking time, so that they do not have time in possession. We aim to keep the pressure high and try to make City attack as little as possible.

“I am sure that Guardiola knows the key to making things difficult for us.

“In three months he has managed to make his team identifiable which is certain to grow. Every month that passes, the immediate future of Manchester City is promising.”

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