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Coral’s combined Manchester City and Barcelona starting XI

| 24.02.2015

Manchester City (5/2 chances for victory in the first leg with Coral) and Barcelona (11/10) go head-to-head for the second successive season in the Champions League last 16.

Therefore, we have come up with a combined all-star starting XI from both teams that are available for this match at the Etihad.

Do you agree with our following picks?

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo (Barcelona)
While the Chilean has yet to feature in the Champions League this term for Barca, the first choice La Liga stopper ought to be picked for this crunch clash. He has kept 14 clean sheets in 24 Spanish league games, and the Catalan club are 12/5 chances to win to nil here as they did last season too.

Right back: Pablo Zabaleta (Man City)
Zabaleta is a Mr Reliable for City, and has been one of their most important players during their rise over the years. He will be hoping not to be sent off, though, as he was at the Nou Camp.

Centre back: Vincent Kompany (Man City)
Another who has helped guide the Citizens to the top of English football over the years is their captain Kompany. He will be crucial to stopping the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

Centre back: Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
Barca have rotated their centre backs this season, with Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu also occupying the position, but Pique has been used more often recently and has helped his side to 14 clean sheets across all competitions when he has been in the side.

Left back: Jordi Alba (Barcelona)
Alba has featured heavily for the Catalan club this term in all competitions, and makes this team ahead of City’s Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy, who have shared left back duties this season.

Defensive midfield: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona)
Although the Argentina star has been played mainly as a centre back, he has also featured a few times in the anchor role. Mascherano will certainly be a handful for City attackers and knows compatriot Sergio Aguero inside out.

Central midfield: Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona)
This was a more difficult role to pick, but the Croat gets this spot as teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta have not featured as often recently and Man City star Toure is suspended.

Right wing: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
It is fair to say that Messi is back to his best. In La Liga, he has netted 19 times in his last 13 games, getting four hat-tricks in that time. He also has eight goals in the Champions League this term and scored in both legs against City last season. Messi is 10/11 to be on target again, and 4/1 for two or more.

Attacking midfield: David Silva (Man City)
Man City have their very own tricky star in Silva, though, and he will be crucial to any City attack. He has nine goals and seven assists in all competitions this season so far.

Left wing: Neymar (Barcelona)
Neymar’s performances have been overshadowed by Messi this term, but the Brazilian has still managed an impressive 24 goals in 30 appearances so far, including three in this the group stage.

Centre forward: Sergio Aguero (Man City)
With 22 strikes from 26 top-flight and Champions League games this season for City, Aguero is his City’s main man. He has five goals in this competition, including hitting a vital hat-trick against Bayern Munich, and is a tempting 6/4 chance to net anytime.



Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.