No guarantees over Messi and Neymar partnership - Martino

The Barcelona coach stressed that there is no guarantee the attacking duo will form a dangerous partnership, and warned his men not to underestimate Manchester City on Wednesday
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has admitted that it is not necessarily a given that the partnership between Lionel Messi and Neymar works out just because they are two great individuals.

The Argentina international and his Brazilian counterpart impressed earlier this campaign, but they have been unable to make much of an impact together recently - partially due to a string of fitness problems.

Los Blaugranas fell to a shock 1-0 defeat at Valladolid on Saturday with both forwards missing costly chances as they slipped four points behind Liga leaders Real Madrid, but Martino defended the pair and backed his side to move on.

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"Messi and Neymar haven’t played much together this season because of injuries. The times they have played together, they have linked up well, but recently they haven’t had much connection on the pitch," Martino said at a press conference.

"You can’t guarantee they will always be synchronised just because it’s the best player in the world and the next best player in the world."

The Barca coach then turned to the second leg of the Champions League round-of-16 tie against Manchester City and warned his men not to take things lightly after their 2-0 away win in the first leg.

"Tomorrow I think Manchester City will make changes to the team. Sergio Aguero is very dangerous but they have many other players who are just as worrying.  

"We have to think that 10 or 12 days ago, we played a very good match against Manchester City. I don’t see why we can’t do the same tomorrow and I am sure we will play well.

"We have to separate the league from the Champions League and we are at an advantage for tomorrow."