- Luis Enrique calls Josep Guardiola “the best coach in the world”
- Guardiola says Barcelona under Luis Enrique are better than his Barça
- Barcelona have won all four of the sides’ previous competitive meetings
- Liga team have won their last 12 UEFA Champions League home games
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitić, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez, Neymar.
Out: Cillessen (ankle)
Manchester City: Bravo; Zabaleta, Stones, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernandinho, Gündoğan; Sterling, Silva, De Bruyne; Agüero.
Out: Sagna (hamstring), Delph (muscle)
Luis Enrique, Barcelona coach
Pep really is a good friend. I think he’s the best coach in the world. I love his attacking mentality. But this is not a match between the coaches. The players are the ones who’ll decide victory and defeat.
City are doing great right now and I really notice the immense impact that Pep’s had on the way they play.
It’s always good news for us to be able to say that Leo Messi is back. He makes chances, between the lines and when he’s out wide. The more he is involved, the better Barcelona play.
Josep Guardiola, Manchester City manager
When we first met as players, it was really easy to see that Luis [Enrique] was special. He’s direct, honest and very hard working. He’s already had a lot of success and he’ll have a lot more in the future. In fact, both he and his team do many things better than when I was in charge.
This is a good test for us, against the best. But the fact we drew [against Celtic] means we are obliged to win back some points. I’m pleased Messi is fit. He’s the best. What makes Barcelona’s strikers special is that they require very few chances in order to score a goal.
I would like to defend well and attack well. But change the way you think, believe and love to play football just for one game? Impossible. We have to adjust but we will be ourselves as much as possible.
Barcelona 4-0 Deportivo (Rafinha 21 36, Suárez 43, Messi 58)
Messi rounded off the scoring after coming off the bench to make his first appearance since 21 September.
Manchester City 1-1 Everton (Nolito 72; Lukaku 64)
Having opened the season with ten wins on the bounce, City are now without a victory in three. Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Agüero both missed penalties, meaning City have failed to convert half of their eight spot kicks this term.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Manchester City: DLDWWW
Reporter’s view: Graham Hunter (@BumperGraham)
This is the kind of test Barcelona normally respond well to. Not only is the spotlight of world football right on them because of the attractiveness of this tie, but their opponents are coached by possibly Barcelona’s most cherished Catalan player and staffed from top to bottom with Camp Nou alumni like Mikel Arteta, Domènec Torrent, Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano.
The major news for the home side, which possibly tilts the match their way, is that Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba are back in full training and Messi is fully recovered from his groin strain. Game on.
Did you know?
How many trophies did Guardiola win as Barcelona coach? Find out more in our extensive match background.