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The Argentine has praised the quality of Manuel Pellegrini's side as he prepares his players for their biggest test of the season

Gerardo Martino rates Manchester City as "one of the biggest teams in the world" and says they are not a "mini Barcelona" ahead of his side's trip to the Etihad Stadium.

The two clubs meet in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday in what is one of the most eagerly-anticipated ties of the round.

Barca, winners of the competition on seven occasions, take on a City side contesting their first Champions League knockout tie, but Blaugrana boss Martino is fully aware of the threat City pose.

Despite being without the injured Sergio Aguero for the first leg, Martino knows the Premier League title contenders carry a serious attacking threat.

"I really like Manchester City's diversity. They can create chances many ways, attack on the first and second line, go from inside to outside, [they are] good in the air, good in the set-pieces [and] they score a lot of goals.

"To defend that we must keep possession.

"City are very similar to us, maybe a bit more direct. I think the team with the least time on the ball will suffer the most.

"They are not a mini-Barcelona or a mini any team. They are one of the biggest teams in the world right now. They have great players from all over the world."

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