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

Messi: 'Man City can beat Barcelona'
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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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27233179205972
2Liverpool28169365323357
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd27175551193256
4Chelsea27165649232653
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs27157552242852
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15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2878132738-1129
16Southampton28512112941-1227
17Crystal Palace2769122542-1727
18Swansea CitySwansea2876152141-2027
19Stoke CityStoke2868142854-2626
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom28311142242-2020
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