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The defender believes that his side have hit the form required to overcome the Citizens in the Champions League after Saturday's win over Rayo Vallecano

Carles Puyol feels that Barcelona look in great shape heading into their Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester City.

The Catalans returned to the top of La Liga - albeit on only goal difference - after a 6-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday with goals from Adriano, Alexis Sanchez, Pedro, Neymar and a double from Lionel Messi.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming European first leg on Tuesday, Puyol declared that Gerardo Martino's men have built into the formidable bit of form that means there is no better time for them to play the Premier League giants.

"In front of us we will have a very good team with great players," the centre-back, 35, told Barcelona's official website. "But we will go into this at a good time and I think the sides will be closely matched.

"Against Rayo, we played very well against a team that has come to Camp Nou to play. They forced us to constantly play with a lot of intensity. Now comes the biggest ask of the season - we are confident we can face the heat."

Puyol faced an injury-hit 2013 and has only made three league appearances this season after being plagued by a knee complaint, but he is confident the worst is behind him.

"[My knee] is okay," the Spain international continued. "It gets better every day. I want to enjoy every day and we'll see how I go. I'm ready to help out wherever I can, both on and off the field."

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