Pedro, Pellegrini and Jovetic preview City v Barcelona
- 17 February 2014 07:27
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
62 days have passed since City were paired with FC Barcelona in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
Barely an hour of those two months will have gone by for supporters without thoughts inevitably drifting towards this historic last 16 tie.
Now, with just over 36 hours (at the time of writing) separating us from kick-off, the build-up has ratcheted up into overdrive with all manner of interviews, special features and blogs on this upcoming clash spread across the back pages and online sports media.
Let’s begin with some words from one of the game’s many key protagonists, Pedro.
“We will be prepared,” Pedro reflected. “We have definitely drawn the worst team possible but knowing how strong they are will just make us more focused than ever.
“David [Silva] is more of a winger in the purest sense of the word.
“He goes past people on the outside. I look for the diagonal run inside a little bit more.
“But there are lots of similarities, too. He is having a great season. For a long time he was someone who most people in Spain thought should be playing in a great side. Now he is.”
It’s expected that decisions will be taken on Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho’s fitness in training this afternoon but, whether one, both or neither of the pair make it, the 60-year old believes his team have what it takes to go through to the quarter-finals.
“I love football, I love good matches," Pellegrini stated.
"I don't have any fear about playing Barcelona, because this team has got to continue to develop the mentality to play against important, important teams, whether that's in the last 16, the quarter-final.
“I hope we see a very good match on Tuesday and I hope we can win at home."
"It's impossible to avoid Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich if you want to continue in the Champions League. So in one moment you must play against them. We play them in the last 16, so let's see what we can do."
“Barcelona have been the best team in the world for the past three or four years, and have so many great players. It is a pleasure to play against them,” the 24-year old declared.
“But in our team we have so many good players. It is going to be a spectacular game.
“They always have good possession of the ball, and that always makes it hard to play against them, but we need to play our game, to play like we did on Saturday - be aggressive, and the result hopefully will come.
“We believe we can win, but we can’t say that we will because they are a very good team."
“They have some players of advantage, but it is small.”
Finally, former City goalkeeper Nicky Weaver has given his appraisal on the Montenegrin’s performance on Saturday to TalkSport.
“Jovetic played well,” Weaver told the Weekend Sports Breakfast show. “We didn’t sign anyone in January but he had a slow start to his Man City career with injuries and stuff so he is like a new signing for us.
“It gives Manuel Pellegrini another option as he’s got four world-class strikers now who are all a little bit different. If he plays with two upfront he has another two on the bench. There are a lot of options there.”
I love that Nicky still says “we”.
It’s due to be a busy day here on mcfc.co.uk, with all manner of interviews, features and previews building up to tomorrow night’s game, so make sure you keep checking the site for the latest from the Etihad Stadium.