Pellegrini: We'll play Barcelona at their own game

The Chilean insists he will not alter his style for the visit of the Catalans later this week, and says that Yaya Toure’s absence will not hurt his side’s chances of victory


Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is plotting to beat Barcelona at their own game in Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 clash.

The Premier League champions are noted for their possession football but have struggled to dominate matches in Europe.

But Pellegrini hopes to see that change against Barca and insists he will not alter City’s style to try and counter the Liga side’s attacking threat.

“At this stage of the competition when you play over 180 minutes it is very important to win the first game. After that, try not to concede goals here at home. If you can’t draw, 0-0 is better than 1-1,” said Pellegrini at his pre-match press conference.

“It’s important to try to win here. But our team is also demonstrating we are playing better away than we did last year.

“I don’t think that last year we changed our style. Maybe we couldn’t do what we tried to do. As I say, we had played 19 games in two months. So we tried to play another way.

“The main thing for our team is to try to fight for the possession of the ball, that’s very important. We need to have the ball as long as we can. After that, give good distribution to take Barcelona as near to their box as we can.”

On Barca’s style, Samir Nasri commented: “Barca has a great philosophy of football. It can be fun if you play your game, but if they have possession it’s not fun.”

City will be without Yaya Toure for the clash after the Ivory Coast international was sent off during the club’s group stage game against CSKA Moscow, but Pellegrini insists the midfielder’s absence won’t be an issue.

“I always prefer to play with Yaya in my team, but we can play without him also,” he added. “We played without him against Roma and Bayern Munich.

The Chilean also revealed that James Milner is “100 per cent fit”, while Wilfried Bony could make his European debut for the club following his January move from Swansea.

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