The City midfielder has not played since January 29 due to a muscle injury, while Barca's Brazilian only returned from an ankle injury on Saturday
The Brazilian midfielder took part in full training on Monday ahead of the fixture at the Etihad Stadium but has not played since January 29 due to a muscle injury.
Manuel Pellegrini makes a total of six changes following City's 2-0 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup on Saturday. Joe Hart replaces Costel Pantilimon in goal, while Martin Demichelis is preferred to Joleon Lescott in central defence.
In midfield, Fernandinho partners Yaya Toure, while Aleksandar Kolarov starts on the left flank. Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic drop to the bench, with Alvaro Negredo leading the line against the Spanish champions.
For Barcelona, Neymar starts on the bench having only recently recovered from an ankle injury.
The Brazil international came off the bench in Saturday's 6-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano to score his seventh league goal of the season but had been sidelined since January 11.
Pedro also drops to the bench after Saturday's victory, with Xavi being handed a spot in central midfield.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Navas, Toure, Fernandinho, Kolarov; Silva; Negredo
Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Garcia, Nasri, Jovetic, Dzeko
Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas; Alexis, Messi, Iniesta
Subs: Pinto, Bartra, Adriano, Song, Sergi Roberto, Pedro, Neymar.