Man City do not fear Barcelona, says Vincent Kompany

Manchester City
Manchester City's 5-0 drubbing of Newcastle was their heaviest league win of the season

Manchester City are not scared of Champions League last-16 opponents Barcelona, says captain Vincent Kompany.

The La Liga side beat Manuel Pellegrini's team 4-1 on aggregate at the same stage last season.

The first leg takes place at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, before the return at the Nou Camp on 18 March.

"We want to play against them. You don't go in at this level fearing strikers," said the Belgium defender.

"They're a special team with special players, but there's nothing new to worry us, it's a case of having the whole team at a very high level."

Both teams are second in their respective domestic leagues, with City five points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea and Barcelona four points below Real Madrid.

They had contrasting fortunes at the weekend, with the English champions winning 5-0 against Newcastle, while Barcelona lost 1-0 at home to Malaga.

Barcelona looking for eight in a row
Barcelona's win over Manchester City in the Champions League last season saw them reach the quarter-finals for the seventh straight campaign, equalling the records of Manchester United (1996-97 to 2002-03) and Real Madrid (1997-98 to 2003-04).

"From the beginning we are going to try to be aggressive and score goals," said City boss Pellegrini.

"It's not a normal game because the tie lasts 180 minutes and we must try not to concede as well as try to score, because an away goal can be very important.

"But I'm sure we will see our team trying to play in the same way we did against Newcastle."

Last season, Pellegrini's side were beaten 2-0 by Barcelona in the first leg at Etihad Stadium, with the game opening up when City defender Martin Demichelis was sent off for conceding a penalty at the start of the second half.

Pellegrini is promising a more ambitious approach in the rematch and also feels his side are better prepared and fresher - with domestic cup defeats meaning that they played five games fewer in December and January than they did last season.

"We are better prepared because last season we arrived in February after playing 18 games in December and January, nine in each month," he said.

"Of those 18 games, we won 16 and drew two. Of course it is normal that at some moment in the season we will feel it, and we arrived not at our best moment against Barcelona.

"After that, the sending off of Demichelis was an important moment.

"But this year we have played fewer games in December and January and I also hope the experience of what happened against Barca last year will help us."

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