Lionel Messi: 'Manchester City can beat Barcelona to Champions League crown'

Messi: 'Man City can beat Barcelona'
© Offside
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi admits that Manchester City are capable of beating the Spanish giants, should the teams be paired in the Champions League knockout stages.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has admitted that Manchester City are capable of beating the Spanish giants, should the teams be paired in the Champions League knockout stages.

The last-16 phase of the competition, which kicks off this week, sees City face Basel and Barca face Chelsea.

Speaking to The Mirror, Argentine forward Messi has said that while Real Madrid and Bayern Munich also have the potential to beat Barcelona, Pep Guardiola's team are more likely to knock out the Catalan club.

"Manchester City are one of the strongest teams around, as well as Paris Saint-Germain," the 30-year-old said. "I also do not exclude Real Madrid in terms of quality and experience, even though they have not yet achieved the expected results.

"Then there's Bayern Munich, another great team who will play until the end. Today, however, the best are City and PSG."

Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur also resume Champions League action this week, facing Porto and Juventus respectively.

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates scoring during his side's Champions League group game against Juventus at the Camp Nou on September 12, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27233179205972
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27175551193256
3Liverpool27159361313054
4Chelsea27165649232653
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs27157552242852
6Arsenal27136851361545
7Burnley279992124-336
8Leicester CityLeicester2798103940-135
9Everton2797113246-1434
10Bournemouth2787123141-1031
11Watford2786133747-1030
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham2779113446-1230
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2777132536-1128
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton27610112236-1428
15Crystal Palace2769122542-1727
16Swansea CitySwansea2776142037-1727
17Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2776142347-2427
18Southampton27511112840-1226
19Stoke CityStoke2767142753-2625
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27311132140-1920
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