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Begiristain: City have nothing to fear against Barca

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England midfielder James Milner is close to agreeing a new contract at Manchester City

England midfielder James Milner is close to agreeing a new contract at Manchester City

England midfielder James Milner is close to agreeing a new contract at Manchester City

Manchester City should have nothing to fear from drawing Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League, according to director of football Txiki Begiristain.

City scraped through their group behind Bayern Munich, and so were not seeded for the knockout stages, with Chelsea paired against French Champions Paris St Germain while Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be reunited with his former club Monaco.

Manuel Pellegrini's men were beaten by Barca at the same stage last season, losing at home and away with a man sent off in each tie.

However, after coming through against the odds from Group E after winning a decisive final game against Roma, which followed on from a memorable 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich at the Etihad Stadium, Begiristain sees no reason why City should not have confidence against a club he knows well having served at the Nou Camp as both a player and director.

FORWARD

"Every tie in that draw is the same, it is fantastic, so we are looking forward to it," he said .

"We have plenty of confidence with the way we qualified beating Bayern Munich at home and Roma away, so the players will be working hard to get fit and arrive in confidence for those games.

"We have improved our squad from last season and we have some real quality up front."

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique told a news conference the Spanish giants expected nothing less than the sternest of tests from the Premier League champions.

"Playing in February against a team like Manchester City, it will be key to go into the game in top form," he said.

"I always think positively and I am just thinking of winning the tie against Manchester City.

"We will look for a win by playing well, but there are games where you can't play the way you want to," he added.


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