Arsène Wenger

Free-scoring City have nothing to lose against fading Barcelona

Arsene Wenger

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Manchester City

Arsene Wenger shares his views on the Champions League matches this week that don't involve his Arsenal side.

Manchester City v Barcelona

This is the confrontation we've all been waiting for. Because Manchester City are currently in great shape, and everybody always respects Barcelona a lot.

But nowadays in Europe, people are a wondering how strong Barcelona really are. If you’d ask me truthfully if they're still dominating Europe as they did for some years, I’d say no. But can they still win the Champions League? I’d say yes.

They still have exceptional and extraordinary technical skill. But they seem less stable in their results, in their way of playing mostly. So it will really be 50/50 for me. Maybe with Manchester City slight favourites, since they have nothing to lose, but real have potential.

The question that might be asked about Barcelona is this: will the 7-0 defeat by Bayern last year have an impact on them?

I’ll be very curious to see this game, because I love Barcelona, I really like the way they play. They are still facing a team with a very important offensive power. They will have to be really strong in defence to stop Manchester City scoring.

Paris St Germain v Bayer Leverkusen

PSG are strong favourites, just as Manchester United are against Olympiakos. Leverkusen are a very good team, very surprising. But in the Champions League, they had trouble against Manchester United.

Leverkusen are a team still in the building process. It doesn’t seem to me that they have enough security to win against a team like PSG.

But there is a caveat: Leverkusen are able to play with rhythm and, on a good day, to beat very good teams.

The consistency they have shown in the Bundesliga is still quite impressive, but they have had a run of losses in the last few weeks.

And PSG have enough brilliant individual to win. Especially now that they have Yohan Cabaye. I see them coming through this tie and going far in the competition.

AC Milan v Atlético Madrid

Atlético are really strong. They are extraordinarily steady in their results. In la Liga, they have the same number of points as Barcelona and Real Madrid. They are really strong in defence. And they have Diego Costa up front, who is extremely dangerous in counter attacks.

Today, I think that Milan will have a really hard time against Atlético Madrid. I even believe that the Atlético will start this confrontation as a favourite.

Milan have a new manager and have brought in some new players, so I'm not saying it’s impossible for them. They're still Milan.

And they have good players too, and have just added Keisuke Honda. They have a lot of quality players. But still, what Atlético have done over the past two years shows that they are really, really strong.

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