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City clash will focus Barcelona, says Pedro

17 February 2014 10:34

Pedro feels facing Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League last 16 could prepare Barcelona better for the latter stages.

Defending La Liga champions Barca have reached the semi-finals of Europe's premier club competition for the last six seasons, but succumbed to a 7-0 aggregate defeat to eventual winners Bayern Munich last term.

Barca, who last won the Champions League in 2011, face a tough task to reach the quarter-finals this year, with Premier League title challengers City awaiting in the first knockout round.

However, ahead of Tuesday's first leg at the Etihad Stadium, Pedro believes that taking on one of the better sides left in the competition at this early stage could prove to be a positive for Barca.

"Definitely," Pedro told The Guardian when asked if City were the most difficult opponent they could have drawn.

"You try to avoid the strongest teams (by winning the group) but we knew we could get them. There are no easy games? Perhaps, but there are easier games.

"There are some opponents you prefer, that's the truth. Maybe this way we will be even more focused than ever, though, because we know how difficult it is."

Pedro has made 27 starts for Barca this season under coach Gerardo Martino's policy of squad rotation.

The Spain international understands Martino's need to keep his side fresh, but hinted that he would consider leaving Camp Nou if he was unhappy with the number of starting opportunities.

"Tata (Martino) is doing very well, pacing us," Pedro added. "It's important that you're in the right shape at the end of the season. Last year against Bayern we were missing key players and we were a notch below our level physically.

"Of course, I want to play every game but you have to accept rotations and understand that other players are in good form.

"Football's a team game. Even when you think you should be playing more, you have to stay positive for when the opportunities arise.

"If not, then at the end of the season you analyse the situation and look for the best solution."

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Info

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
18 February 2014
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
0 - 2
On aggregate
1 - 4
Venue
Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
Attendance
46033

Goals

0 - 1
54' L. Messi (PG)
0 - 2
90' Dani Alves
 (assist by Neymar)

Lineups

# Player Bookings
1
22 23' 90'
3
18
14 76'
4
8
6
16
10 54'
9
Coach: G. Martino

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
6
8
10
2
14
30
35
# Player Bookings
11
24
7
13
15
17
21

Wednesday 23 April

Tuesday 22 April

23:56
23:40
23:19
23:18
22:45
22:07
21:30
21:21
20:51
19:21
19:19
18:58
18:21
18:21
18:14
17:48
17:38
17:25
17:13
17:02
16:58
16:43
16:31
16:21
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15:32
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13:40
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12:07
11:21
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11:04
10:45
10:34
10:16
09:54
09:34
09:22
06:45
06:44
06:44
06:18
04:45
04:41
04:11
02:51
01:13
01:11
01:09

Monday 21 April

23:55
23:55
23:51
23:37
22:59
21:51
21:27
20:44
20:28
20:22
20:07
19:40
18:51
18:14
18:07
17:58
17:08
16:39
16:13
15:42
15:08
14:29
14:22
13:51
13:50
11:43
11:36
11:21
10:58
10:33
10:03
09:36
09:21
08:55
08:44
07:30
07:09
06:06
05:33
04:55
03:42
03:30
02:54
02:51
02:05
01:44
01:36
00:04

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