Manuel pellegrini

City defence won’t do their bit
Manchester City’s objective this evening is not too dissimilar to that faced yesterday by Arsenal, only the quality of opposition is considerably higher. City have to score at least twice in Barcelona in order to progress, and as if that isn’t enough of a challenge they will also need to shut out the free-scoring attack of their opponents. Sergio Aguero can be relied upon to at least make a chance or two for himself, but at the other end the back four are in for a long night. Jittery in the first leg, the defence i snow without the suspended Gael Clichy (a positive thing, some might argue) and considering they can’t keep out Burnley right now, messrs Neymar, Suarez and Messi might prove too much. JW

Juventus will defend like Italians
Serie A league leaders Juventus will tonight line-up against a resurging Borussia Dortmund side knowing that a clean sheet will see them safely into the Champions League quarter-finals. With a 2-1 advantage from their home leg, Juventus will only need a 0-0 draw to progress, a somewhat ideal situation for any Italian side in Europe. Juventus are currently top of Serie A, a whopping 14 points clear of second placed Roma, having lost just once this season. The best omen for Juventus’ progression tonight is their stellar defensive record domestically, which has seen them concede just 14 times in 27 Serie A games, a record that could hold them in good stead as they face a Dortmund side that has returned from the brink to go on a six game unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to pull them off of the foot of the table. BF

Yaya back but the damage is done
City are able to play Yaya Toure in their team tonight, having completed his three-match Champions League suspension, and few need reminding of his importance to this side. The Ivorian’s absence was sorely felt when he was on international duty in January, with City winning just one of their five Premier League matches while Toure was at the Africa Cup of Nations. In Europe, meanwhile, his presence could also have made a significant difference to proceedings in the first leg against Barca, but we’ll never know. As good a match as Toure might have tonight against his former club, City have already paid the price for his stupid red card versus CSKA Moscow, and tonight could well be the last time we see Yaya Toure play for City in the competition. JW

Klopp will be desperate to stay competitive
Borussia Dortmund’s 2014-15 domestic campaign has, until recently, been an unmitigated disaster for the German side as they spent a lion’s share of the season rooted to the foot of the table. Now enjoying a good run of form that has seen Jurgen Klopp’s men shoot up to 10th in Germany, their manager will hope his side’s seeming return to glory can provide Dortmund with the confidence to keep up their impressive European exploits. Despite their poor league form, Dortmund are unbeaten at home on their travel in Europe this season and could find themselves battling it out in the Champions League quarter-final if they can beat Juventus tonight. With a 2-1 defeat to overturn, Dortmund will need to score and not let Juventus increase their lead if they are to stand a chance of qualification. With a crucial away goal it will take tactical intelligence on Dortmund’s part as they look to break down one of Europe’s most impressive defenses. BF

The coffin nail for Pellegrini
As hopes of retaining the Premier League title dwindle, it looks increasingly as if the Champions League remains the last opportunity of silverware for Man City. Realists know the chances of that are slim, given the circumstances ahead of tonight, so it looks like the club will go this season without a trophy. Manuel Pellegrini perhaps wasn’t lauded enough for winning both the league and Capital One Cup during his first season in England, but memories are short at the top level and if the Chilean is unable to pull off the unlikely comeback this evening then it could well signal his departure at the end of the campaign. Like Roberto Mancini before him, a failure to retain the league and take City far in the Champions League will be punished with a P45. JW

Words by Joe Walker and Ben Fawcett