Phil Kitromilides explains why attack is the best form of defence tonight in the Camp Nou for Manuel Pellegrini's sideIn the relatively humble surroundings of the Estadio Jose Zorilla on Saturday afternoon, Barcelona were out thought and out fought by Real Valladolid and the intensity shown by the Catalans opponents in La Liga will give Manchester City an idea of what they have to do tonight to overcome a 2-0 first leg deficit.
Valladolid really went for Barca at the weekend, and City will have to show a similar intensity right from the start; if they do, it could be an uncomfortable evening for the Catalans.
Yet the Blaugrana almost always score at home (having netted in each of their last 19 games at the Camp Nou) and a repeat tonight would leave City needing to score three times to progress.
However that is not an impossible task - last season both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich scored three goals at the Camp Nou while Valencia managed it in a La Liga game last month.
Both teams to score is offered at 4/7 (1.57) and if City are likely to net then Sergio Aguero looks likeliest, and must be considered as a goalscorer bet.
Aguero is offered at 15/8 (2.88) to net at anytime - something he has managed four times so far in career his against the side from Catalonia and his strength and movement can cause problems to a Barca defense which has shown itself to be uncomfortable when put under real pressure.
A bright start and a quick tempo are needed from City if they are record a famous comeback and the price of 5/4 (2.20) for City's first goal to come in the first half looks like a fantastic bet.
Barca have conceded in each of their last three matches and in each of those games, the La Liga side have let in goals within the opening 45 minutes.
|Manchester City first goal in first half at 5/4 (2.25) 2.0pt stake with Paddy Power|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid