Villa: Barca-City very close

David Villa has revealed that he expects ‘a very close tie’ when Barcelona and Manchester City do battle in next week’s Champions League last-16 first leg.

The first match between the two European giants will be played at the Etihad Stadium next Tuesday, and the former Cule – now with the Premier League champions’ sister club New York City – admits he cannot pick a winner.

“I think it is a very close tie. City and Barcelona are two of the best clubs in the world with great players so I’m sure it will be a very good tie to watch,” the striker told City’s official website.

“I think that Barcelona was also playing well before but they didn’t get the results and always when you win games you have more confidence.

“Now they are in a very good form. They win games, they have closed the gap with Real Madrid and they won against Atletico – a very difficult team to beat – in Copa del Rey so they are in a good moment.

“I’m sure that Manuel Pellegrini and all his staff know Barcelona very well. When you face this kind of teams you have to make sure that you make it difficult for them and try to take advantage of his weaknesses.”

Barca beat City 4-1 on aggregate at the same stage last season to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition, where they were eventually knocked out by La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid.

Tags David Villa Manchester City