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The outspoken Portuguese believes the Catalan giants have slipped from their pedestal under Tata Martino enough to give Manuel Pellegrini's men a realistic chance

Jose Mourinho believes Manchester City have a chance of progressing in the Champions League against "the worst Barcelona for many years".

City take on the Catalan giants at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday evening buoyed by Saturday's FA Cup triumph over Mourinho's Chelsea.

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Manuel Pellegrini's men are bidding to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time, but many acknowledge their task will be difficult against the Spanish champions.

Mourinho, however - who has a long and fractious history with Barcelona - believes Tata Martino's men have slipped from their pedestal enough this season to give City a good chance.

Mourinho told ITV: "Of course by history Barcelona is the favourite, but this Barcelona, this season, is showing that it is not the same in previous years.

"Of course they have [Lionel] Messi, he is special, and they have more than him. But I think this is the worst Barcelona of many many years, so City have a chance."

Mourinho is widely despised in Catalonia for defeating Barcelona with Chelsea and Inter, and also for his treatment of Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova while in charge of Real Madrid.

He has also made headlines since returning to Stamford Bridge with a series of perceived slights towards City and Pellegrini, and last week referred to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as a "specialist in failure".

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