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Barcelona v City: Five players to watch

DEADLY TRIO: Barcelona's front three are regarded by many as the best in the world.

DEADLY TRIO: Barcelona's front three are regarded by many as the best in the world.

They might be a team of superstars but who in particular should we be keeping an eye on when we face Barcelona on Wednesday?

It's one of the most anticipated ties of the season and Pep Guardiola will know all about the threat the Catalans pose.

With threats all over the pitch, Barcelona, as well as City, are amongst the favourites to reach next June's Champions League final in Cardiff.

Who in particular should City be wary of in this Group C clash?

Find out where you can watch the match by clicking here.

Lionel Messi

We'll start with the obvious, shall we?

As Barca's greatest ever scorer, a four-time Champions League winner and five-time Ballon d'Or winner, Messi has already cemented his place in the history of the game.

STRAIGHT BACK: Messi fires home within minutes of returning against Deportivo La Coruna

Although he is likely to start on the right of the front three, the 29-year-old could pop up anywhere on the pitch; meaning all of City's team, not just the left-back, will have to be on high alert.

While a recent injury seemed likely to rule him out of the tie, the Argentinian returned on Saturday; stepping off the bench to score Barcelona's fourth in their 4-0 demolition of Deportivo La Coruna.

Luis Suarez

An insatiable hunger for goals has taken Suarez to the summit of the game.

Several of City's defenders will remember the Uruguayan from his spell at Liverpool but he has taken his scoring to a new level in Catalonia, scoring 93 goals in 107 appearances.

Given the task of occupying the central defenders while Messi and Neymar operate in the spaces left behind, Suarez provides a physical edge that may have previously been missing from Barca's game.

Andres Iniesta

'The Artist' has already spoke of how special he expects this match, and his reunion with idol and former boss Pep Guardiola, to be.

While not necessarily the greatest direct goal threat, as 54 goals in 594 matches for Barcelona would suggest, the Spaniard has a proven track record of controlling the biggest matches in world football.

THE ARTIST: Iniesta in his familiar pose while in possession of the ball

While many predicted the departure of his partner Xavi Hernandez in 2014 would begin the decline of Iniesta, he has instead taken his game to a whole new level.

Operating on the inside left, the La Masia graduate is often found playing the final ball through for one of Neymar, Suarez or Messi to finish off.

Ivan Rakitic

The lungs of a Barca team that has shown it can be direct, the Croatian international is a vital link between midfield and attack for Luis Enrique's team.

His goal in City's loss at the Nou Camp in March 2015 is a perfect demonstration of the incisive third man runs that Rakitic provides for his teammates.

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He may spend much of the evening sat alongside Sergio Busquets in a conservative role as Barca consider the midfield threats of City but a late run from Rakitic could prove the difference in a tight game. 

Sergi Roberto

Barcelona's reformed full-back faces a late fitness test ahead of Wednesday's clash but if cleared to play, he will be essential to Enrique's system.

After spending several years as a fringe midfielder, the 24-year-old was moved to right-back midway through the 2015/16 season and impressed to such an extent that the Blaugrana were not worried when Dani Alves left for Juventus this summer.

A natural dynamism, exceptional crossing ability and strong work ethic means the Catalonian is perfectly suited the quasi-attacking role of full-back in Barcelona's team.

All the build-up, coverage and reaction of Barcelona v City will be coming over the next few days at mancity.com!

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