Following last week’s poor result, Manchester City will host Barcelona in hope of a Champions League comeback.
Gareth Taylor’s side go into the second leg with a three goal deficit to make up. Taylor will be hoping his side put in the strong performance needed to bring themselves back in the running to reach the semi-finals.
City enter the clash on an outstanding run of league form. The hosts last suffered defeat to Chelsea in October and currently sit in second place in the table, only two points behind Emma Hayes’ side.
Barcelona are top of the Primera Iberdrola and are nine points clear of second place Levante. The Spanish side go into the fixture having scored 100 league goals whilst only conceding three, a statistic that highlights the enormity of the task facing Manchester City.
Man City will once again be missing their captain Steph Houghton. The defender has been ruled out for at least two weeks with an achilles injury. Midfielder Keira Walsh captained today’s hosts in their narrow win over Reading last time out.
No.3 Demi Stokes has also been ruled out of the clash, however Taylor was not able to say how long she would be unavailable. Barcelona have not announced any new injuries to their side since the first leg.
Manchester City appeared completely out-classed at certain points during the away leg. Barcelona coolly slotted away three goals with no reply from the Sky Blues. Speaking after the Reading match, City No.9 Chloe Kelly was confident that the team could get themselves back into the tie. Similarly, Sam Mewis spoke ahead of the reverse fixture and admitted City are feeling “optimistic” about pushing for a comeback today.Embed from Getty Images
Asisat Oshoala was sensational for the Spanish giants directly contributing to two of her side’s goals. She opened up the scoring with an unstoppable strike into the bottom corner, before two more goals put the Catalonians way into the lead in the second half.
One to watch
Despite the mammoth task Man City are facing, Ellen White could be the key to unlocking Barcelona’s defence and starting a comeback. The England international is one of the WSL’s top all-time goal scorers and has proven to be a reliable attacking force for Taylor.
White will be joining the Lionesses during the upcoming international break, however Taylor will be hoping that all her focus is aimed at bringing the team back from the brink of a Champion’s League exit.