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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Champions League Round of 16: Barcelona Seek Man City Scalp as Zlatan's PSG Travel to Leverkusen

The UEFA Champions League resumes this Tuesday with fascinating matches lined up in the first leg of the knockout stages across Europe.

The first matches of the Round of 16 will see La Liga Champions and 4-time winners Barcelona travel to England to face Manchester City. The two clubs have never met in a competitive fixture and their only meeting was in a friendly at the Camp Nou in 2009, a match the Citizens won 1-0 courtesy of a Martin Petrov goal in the 27th minute.

City and the Catalans go into the match at the back of victories in their respective domestic assignments, City beating rivals Chelsea 2-0 in the FA Cup while Barcelona triumphed 6-0 against Rayo Vallecano. Manuel Pellegrini’s City finished runners-up to reigning champions Bayern Munich in Group D while Barcelona beat Milan to the top of Group H to set up the clash that will see Yaya Toure face his former employers. Both clubs finished their group assignments with only one defeat.

The Eitihad outfit have won 18 of their 20 home games this season scoring for fun even against established opponents like Arsenal and Tottenham. However, they will be without their top scorer Sergio Aguero who notched 6 goals during the group stages but Gerardo Martino has a full squad to choose from as they try to keep up with their record of having reached at least the semi finals in their last six campaigns.

Meanwhile Paris Saint Germain travel to Germany to face Sami Hyypia's Bayer Leverkusen at the Bay Arena. The French Ligue 1 table topping side will be without Edison Cavani going into the match but in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the tournament's second top scorer, they will nevertheless pose serious threat to the hosts who will have some key stars out with injuries. Leverkusen finished runners-up to Manchester United in their group while behemoths PSG topped Group C ahead of Olympiacos.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!