Barcelona have hit top form ahead of Man City Champions League tie, says Guillem Balague

Image: Messi: He and Barca are on the up, says Guillem

It's quite clear, as the season progresses, that the quality of the Manchester City squad is not in doubt - but it is an unbalanced squad.

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The criticism for Tata that we put in this column all this year is that he was trying to look for alternatives without having the players for it. If you want to play box-to-box football or more counter-attacking football you need different players. Martino, when he asked the board for players, they were like 'nope, we're not changing, not yet anyway, changes will take place in the summer'. So Barcelona have gone back to their essence - and City are finding them at their best. That's why you can only analyse these games properly in the days before the match, not when the draw takes place. I do feel Barcelona are favourites but it could all be decided in the second leg. If Barcelona had continued with the ideas Tata had early in the season I would have said City had more of a chance but they are also finding Messi at his best, too. He's been keeping his position as a false nine, instead of a false eight, which he has been doing for a bit, dropping too deep, which meant Xavi had to move deeper and there weren't enough people in the box when chances appeared. Now everything is more balanced, he's gone back to a false nine, is operating closer to the box and scored six goals in last four games.

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