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CL: Barcelona not as tough as Stoke at home, says City's Kompany

Manchester City defender believes his side won't fear Spanish heavyweights in tonight's first leg Round of 16 encounter at the Etihad Stadium

Manchester: Vincent Kompany insists Manchester City have no reason to fear Barcelona and believes an away trip to face Stoke City is more intimidating than a clash with the Catalan giants.

Vincent Kompany celebrates Manchester Citys victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park. Pic/Getty Images
Vincent Kompany celebrates Manchester City's victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park. Pic/Getty Images 

City renew hostilities with Barca at the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League Round of 16 tonight, having been eliminated 1-4 on aggregate by them at the same stage of the tournament last season.

Manuel Pellegrini's men, however, head into the match on the back of two resounding league victories: a 4-1 win at Stoke City and a 5-0 drubbing of Newcastle United.

Barca, in contrast, suffered a shock 0-1 loss at home to Malaga in La Liga on Saturday but will likely line up at the Etihad Stadium with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez up front.

"I think their ability is not about hurting you all game — you can have tougher games when you go to Stoke City — it's about the fact they can decide a game within a second," Kompany told reporters.

"They're a special team with special players. They have more players than anyone else in the world who can finish games with a touch of magic.

"But I've come into football to play these games. The moment I'm feeling reluctant to play in these games I'm not in the right place. This is what I want. The next game is a massive one now and it's one of those — if you have a good day it can be a special night.

"So we have to prepare and I think everyone is ready for it. We don't fear them. You don't go in at this level fearing strikers. We want to play against them."

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