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Feb 16, 2014

Yaya Toure: City not yet at Barca's level

Yaya Toure has suggested to ESPN FC that his former club Barcelona are favourites heading into their Champions League last-16 tie with Manchester City.

Yaya Toure shrugged off injury to get his name on the scoresheet.
Yaya Toure is a key man for Manchester City.

City host La Liga giants Barcelona in the first leg of their tie on Tuesday before traveling to the Camp Nou on March 12.

The Premier League side are playing in the Champions League knockout stage for the first time, having previously disappointed in their group phase campaigns.

• Bennett: Kompany talks up City's chances
• Curtis: City thoroughbreds on the gallop

But, having finished level on points with Bayern Munich in Group D this term, Toure is hopeful Manuel Pellegrini's side can overcome experienced Barcelona.

Toure, who signed for City from Barca in 2010, said: "[Barcelona] have experience. They have chemistry. They have a strong mentality.

"Barcelona know how to manage these [situations] because they have been such a strong club for so long and for us it is the first time [in the elimination round].

"We don't want to put pressure on ourselves because clubs like Madrid and Barcelona have a big history. We want to be at that level. Our goal is to become one of the big fish."

Their recent defeat to Chelsea in the league aside, City have been impressive at the Etihad Stadium, and Toure is looking to make their home advantage pay versus Barca this week.

He added: "What we want to do it to test ourselves because we have been so dominant at the Etihad but against Barcelona we will have to be careful because they have a fantastic [counter-attack] and the best player in the world on their team."

Read the full interview with Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure later on Monday on ESPN FC

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