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Key battles as Manchester City host Barcelona

Manchester city preparing for the coming battle. Photo: PA Images

Manchester City host Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday. Here is a look at some of the likely key battles.

VINCENT KOMPANY v LIONEL MESSI

City captain Kompany will need to be at his commanding best as he faces one of the night's toughest tasks in attempting to keep Barcelona's star man quiet. Messi, the four-time World Player of the Year, has shown signs of rediscovering his best form this month after an injury-hit campaign.

YAYA TOURE v SERGIO BUSQUETS

Toure left Barcelona in 2010 after falling behind Busquets in the pecking order at the Nou Camp. The Ivorian does not believe he has a point to prove but the match-up between City's central driving force and Barca's midfield anchor could be intriguing.

ALVARO NEGREDO v GERARD PIQUE

City striker Negredo is yet to get back to his best since returning to action following the shoulder injury he suffered in the Capital One Cup semi-final against West Ham last month. But the Spaniard has still enjoyed a fine season and, in the absence of Sergio Aguero, will look to give the Pique-led Barca defence a strong test.

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