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Tuesday, 25 November 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group F

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Silva: City can come of age

David Silva believes Manchester City could 'come of age' by knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League.

Last Updated: 18/02/14 at 19:13 Post Comment

David Silva: City host Barcelona on Tuesday night

David Silva: City host Barcelona on Tuesday night

City host Barcelona in the first leg of their last-16 tie at the Etihad on Tuesday.

And despite it being City's debut at this stage of the competition, many feel Manuel Pellegrini's side have a real chance of getting past the Catalan giants.

"It will be difficult, but beating Barcelona would be like a coming of age for Man City, very important for our confidence and international recognition," Silva told the Manchester Evening News.

"It is a pity that we are without Sergio Aguero and possibly Fernandinho, who is very important for us in midfield. Sometimes we get a bit broken in midfield, there is too much separation between lines when we go forward, and are susceptible to the counter attack."

Silva appreciates that Barca will be fancied to get through by the majority, and added: "Barcelona are the favourites.

"They have the history, the experience, and the best player in the world in Leo Messi - but of course we have an opportunity.

"We believe in ourselves and in our football. The key is to keep up the pressure for 90 minutes, to avoid silly mistakes and take advantage of the chances. Against such a good team, you cannot miss them.

"Messi is the best, Xavi is the mind behind everything, Iniesta is the elegance, Valdes the safety, Mascherano is a warrior, Pedro defines very well, Alexis is a fighter, Busquets brings balance to the team."

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eanwhile, England's best U21 players playing with those most likely to be in the senior team from 2020 onwards might increase their chances in those tournaments to a point where they could actually be potential winners. Unlike 2016.

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m not a doctor, but the cause is likely to be crap dancing after scoring. My prognosis is we may need to take that leg off.

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or the time being we just have to focus on the players we do have, Rodgers said. We have to make the best of what is available. Jesus wept!

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