• Champions League

Lescott set for Messi role

ESPN staff
March 10, 2014
Joleon Lescott looks set to be part of the City defensive quartet to keep out Lionel Messi © PA Photos

Joleon Lescott is set to be handed the task of stopping Lionel Messi when Manchester City go to the Nou Camp on Wednesday to try to overturn a 2-0 aggregate deficit.

The centre-back, who has only made seven Premier League starts this season and is likely to leave the Etihad in the summer, is in line to partner captain Vincent Kompany in the heart of the City back four.

Martin Demichelis is suspended after being sent off in the Champions League last-16 first leg for upending Messi, who was through on goal, while Matija Nastasic is injured.

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But despite being knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship side Wigan Athletic, City manager Manuel Pellegrini is adamant his side can win and reach the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition.

"I don't have any doubt that we can go to Barcelona and beat them in the Nou Camp and we will try to have our revenge there," he told City's official website.

"Of course we can do it. We will go with a lot of trust to try to do it. If we are on a good day, I am absolutely sure we can do it."

The Chilean accepts he has a tough task but takes heart from his past results against Barcelona.

He explained: "I won with Villarreal in the Nou Camp. I drew also with Malaga. It is a very important game for both teams. They have the advantage they have two goals and maybe they can work more with the tempo and the pace of the game.

"If we can score a goal early, maybe Barcelona will be a bit more nervous but if they score before they have an important advantage. It is difficult because it is a very good team with great players."

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