There are always emotions involved when a player or a coach is facing their ex-team. Pep was a legend as a coach and as a player at Barcelona. He’s respected and loved by the club and the fans.
But that doesn’t mean Enrique will go easy on him.
Pep already faced Barcelona with Bayern, and we all know how that ended up. However, things are different now.
Pep is with Man City, and he’s doing a great job. He defeated Mourinho in the big English derby, and he already transformed City into a better team.
Even though it’s just a group stage game, both teams will go after a win.
The good news for Barcelona is that Messi and Umtiti are back. Alba is injured, but Barca has Digne to take his place.
Judging by their last game, Barcelona is in favor. They destroyed Deportivo, and the attack is in top form. City draw against Everton, and they were beaten by Tottenham in their previous game.
Kevin De Bruyne injury update
De Bruyne is clearly City’s best player. He suffered an injury in the CL game against Celtic, but he’s back now.
He played against Everton, and missed a penalty.
De Bruyne was the key player against Man Utd. He scored the first goal, and he dominated the pitch with the help of Silva and Fernandinho.
He missed the game against Tottenham, and that was Pep’s first lost game as a City manager. De Bruyne is City’s best player, and he can cause a lot of problems for Barcelona.
Enrique should work on a strategy to make sure De Bruyne is left no space to operate. Now that Umtiti is back, maybe he should partner up with Pique for a physically stronger back line.
The team is ready to face City
This is not the first time these two will face each other in the CL. But before Pep joined, Barcelona was always ahead of City in every way. Messi was almost always in top form when Barcelona was playing the Premier League giants.
However, now when Pep is with City, things could be different.
He knows the style of Barcelona, and he already transformed City from a counter-attack to possession and tiki-taka style.
When Messi was in top form and facing city, this is how he played:
But he just returned from injury, and we’re not sure he can dominate the whole game on his own. The good thing is that Suarez and Neymar are in top form, as well as the rest of the team.
Rafinha was a pleasant surprise against Deportivo, and the team looks ready for their first big game in the CL.
“We played a complete game,” said Rakitic about the game against City: “We will prepare for the game in the same way as ever. We will play against a technical team which we know very well and it will be very difficult. We will intend to play a perfect game as that’s what will be required to win the game.”
“We have to let Paco Alcàcer be. The most important thing is that he is getting chances, it would be a problem if he wasn’t getting any. He is a very important player for us and we have faith in him”.