LONDON, England, February 17- Manchester City winger Jesus Navas said there would be ample opportunity to exploit some of Barcelona’s perceived weaknesses during their Champions League last 16 fixture.
Barca have developed a reputation for fielding fragile defences in recent seasons and Navas believes that flaw will be exposed when the Catalans travel to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.
“Even the best teams have their weaknesses and Barcelona struggle in set pieces and counter attacks, when they lose the ball in attacking positions,” Navas told ESPN on Monday.
The Etihad has been somewhat of a fortress for Manchester City this season, even in the Champions League, and Navas thinks that alone is sufficient cause to think City can execute a slight upset this week.
“They won’t be happy having to come here. They will find we are a really difficult team to play against and to beat,” he added.
“We are playing very well, creating chances scoring a lot of goals. We are full of confidence. The one thing we must do is play with high pressure and high tempo because they have some top-quality players.”
Navas, who used to ply his trade in the Spanish league, has a profound understanding of Barcelona football and insists the Catalans are no longer the force they once were.
“Maybe they don’t play as well as three or four years ago, but that is normal. The rivals study the way you play and find a tactic to counteract your strengths,” he said.
“The cycles in football don’t last forever. It’s hard to say because they set the standards so high in the past.
“We have been training hard and hopefully by preparing for this match well we can go through to the next round.”