Barcelona are coming off the back of a major upset, leaving them vulnerable perhaps for another loss. But then, Manchester City were just knocked out of the FA Cup by a side in the Championship, albeit the defending champions Wigan.
Come Wednesday, both teams will need to put their recent results behind them and rekindle their form when they take to the pitch in the Champions League last 16 second leg encounter at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona will start the match as the heavy favourites to go through to the quarterfinals having picked up a 2-0 first leg win at the Etihad. City will need to conjure a few magic tricks and inspirational performances if they are to continue their Champions League sojourn, with the away team having to score at least two unanswered goals to stand a chance of progressing.
As if the odds weren't stacked against them already, Manchester City will also be without manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has been given a two-match touchline ban after criticising the referee following the first leg loss which saw City go down to ten men with Martin Demichelis receiving a straight red card for a challenge on Lionel Messi. Messi went on to convert the subsequent penalty, with Dani Alves adding to the scoreline late on.
"The decisions are taken by Pellegrini," said assistant manager Rouben Cousillas after the Chilean decided against being present for the pre-match press conference. "I have worked with him for 13 years and I know what he wants. Tomorrow [Wednesday] he can't be on the bench, so it's up to me to make substitutions, etc."
City went down 2-1 to Wigan in the FA Cup on Sunday, with it ending their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple. Cousillas, though, insisted the loss will have no on the players when they take field against Barca.
"We had a big sense of frustration because we wanted to be back at Wembley and win another cup, but Wigan surprised us," Cousillas added. "We have turned the page and we have experienced and quality players, which means we are more united than ever and we have forgotten everything in preparation for tomorrow.
"We were the only [English] team to be alive in four competitions until Sunday. We are still standing in three competitions and we will fight until the last moment and won't settle for a defeat tomorrow."
Barcelona, themselves, suffered a shock reverse at the hands of Real Valladolid, with Gerardo Martino's men putting in an underwhelming attacking performance. The likes of Messi, Neymar and Cesc Fabregas will need to play a lot better if they are to stop City from mounting a momentous upset.
"After the match in Valladolid I said we made mistakes but under different circumstances -- because all our defeats this season have been different," Martino said. "There's not a specific reason for us being inconsistent. We need to be more consistent at this stage of the season.
"We have talked a lot individually and as a group, but this is a different competition, we have a positive result behind us and we played well in Manchester.
"We have to think that ten or 12 days ago [actually three weeks], we played a very good match against Manchester City. I don't see why we can't do the same tomorrow and I'm sure we will play well. We have to separate the league from the Champions League and we are at an advantage, so Valladolid has to be put to one side."
Champions League: Barcelona vs Manchester City Live TV Information (Match starts 7.45 pm GMT, 1.15 am IST (Thursday morning), 3.45 pm ET)
|India||Ten Action and Ten HD|
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports|
|Middle East||Bein Sports Arabia|
Champions League: Barcelona vs Manchester City Online Live Streaming Information (Match starts 7.45 pm GMT, 1.15 am IST (Thursday, 3.45 pm ET):
|India||HERE or HERE|
Team news: Barcelona: Martino does not have too many injury worries, with only Jonathan Dos Santos sidelined.
Manchester City: Stevan Jovetic continues to deal with injury issues, while defender Matija Nastasic has also been ruled out.
Key men: Barcelona: Messi, obviously. The Argentine has been a little off-colour of late, but there is no better platform than the Champions League for the little magician to sparkle again. Neymar will be under pressure to perform after copping a lot of criticism from the Spanish press following the loss to Valladolid
Manchester City: Yaya Toure had a poor outing against Wigan, but, as we all know, is capable of the unbelievable. The midfielder will want to have one of those brilliant matches against his former side, while the onus will also be on Sergio Aguero to find the goals.
Expected lineups: Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas; Sanchez, Messi, Neymar.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; Toure, Fernandinho; Nasri, Aguero, Silva; Dzeko.