MANCHESTER CITY restored their dented pride and their credentials as potential multiple trophy winners with the impressive revenge win against Chelsea in the FA Cup. Now, I want to see manager Manuel Pellegrini keep up the good work against Barcelona tonight by again making the right selections. For me, Joleon Lescott has to stay in the team in the centre of defence, alongside the towering figure of captain Vincent Kompany. I have said often enough that Lescott, whose natural left foot gives the centre-back pairing a marvellous balance, would always get my vote to partner Kompany over Nastasic and, most certainly, over Demichelis.
Also, I think the excellent, hard-working and versatile James Milner showed against Chelsea – as he did when starring in the early-season return leg victory over mighty Bayern Munich – that he is the man for the big occasion. Milner was terrific in that wide right role that also sees him tucking in and lending invaluable support to Yaya Toure who, clearly also comforted by the presence of Garcia – who had his best game for City in the holding role – was at his rampaging, belligerent best as Jose Mourinho and his players were well and truly put in their place. It might be that Garcia will be unlucky and make way for Fernandinho, and you couldn’t argue with that, but I hope Pellegrini sticks by the other guys who did him proud on Saturday
With Sergio Aguero again ruled out, it will be interesting to see who plays at the front. I suspect that Jovetic, who reminded me so much of my former City front-runner Paul Dickov in the way he tirelessly harassed the Chelsea defenders, will again start with either Dzeko or Negredo as the focal point of the attack. Against Lionel Messi and the Barca all-stars, City will need to produce another disciplined, all-round performance and I suggest that unsung heroes Lescott and Milner, Pellegrini’s foot soldiers if you like, need to be there to help ensure that is just what they do.