It’s hard to feel too excited about the second legs between Barcelona vs Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain vs Leverkusen after both teams won quite convingly away from home in the first encounters, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t going to have good football to watch.
Barcelona do have a 2-0 lead from the first match at the Etihad, but aren’t heading into the second leg with supreme confidence. Their problems in the league have put them four points behind the league leaders, a gap that’s usually very difficult to erase in Spain. Andres Iniesta is going through a personal tragedy and the combination between Lionel Messi and Neymar isn’t exactly pleasing.
So is this the chance to sting Barca at the Nou Camp? Probably not. Pellegrini has been through enoguh tough losses against this team, and knows the risks of playing a certain way against Barcelona, especially without having the right team to do it. But if there was ever a time to create a huge sensation, it seems that Barcelona at this point of the season are capable of messing up. Not that it’ll happen.
Martino compalined about Messi and Neymar not clicking the way he had hoped to see. Maybe he’ll try something different in terms of positioning from the two, but it won’t be surprising to see the same: Messi in the middle, Neymar on the left and hoping that their individual abilities and intelligence creates something great. However, City might give up on this match rather early, knowing their actualy chances of success this season, after getting knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan, remain mostly in the league and making the most of those games in hand.
In Paris things are a bit more straight forward – PSG shellshocked Leverkusen in Germany with a 4-0 win, and have conceded only two goals in their last five matches, all victories. Leverkusen? They haven’t won a match in any competition since February 7, and their away draw to Hannover was the first non-loss in six matches.
Leverkusen might have an easier chance against a looser, less focused PSG side who already have qualification sewn up, but there’s a better chance of another humiliating night than someoene coming even close to an upset.