The most important match of FC Barcelona's season? Tonight's match against Manchester City is certainly a candidate at this early stage of the season; the return of the UEFA Champions League usually brings excitement and optimism, although in this instance, Cules are feeling a little more pessimistic than normal. A disappointing and unexpected home defeat to Malaga CF has left the club reeling; having falling further behind in the La Liga title race, attentions must now turn to the UEFA Champions League.
Unlike domestic league competition, Barça hold their fate in their own hands in the Champions League. If we get the results, we can reach the final irrespective of what other teams can muster -- and we don't even need to keep an 100% record either. Draws, particularly away from home can become just as valuable as wins in this competition and even away defeats can be satisfactory, provided that we score an away goal or two.
Indeed, this is a competition like no other -- and Barcelona will need to be at the very best for each and every test they face, starting tonight at the Etihad. Manchester City are the reigning English Premier League champions and simply cannot be taken lightly. They possess incredible offensive firepower, and their once shaky defense has shown recent signs of a recovery. Heading into tonight's match hot off the heels of their impressive 5-0 mauling of Newcastle United, City will be full of confidence and aiming to go one better than last season, in which they were eliminated by the Blaugrana.
Do they have what it takes, or will Barça bounce-back on the grandest stage of them all? Predict the score of tonight's match by commenting with your prediction below. Best of luck!
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