Kompany does not fear Messi and Co

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Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany claims Barcelona will hold no fear for the Premier League champions on Tuesday night.

City host the Catalan giants in the first leg of their eagerly-anticipated Champions League last-16 tie.

They were outgunned by Barca at the same stage of the competition last season, losing 4-1 on aggregate and having players sent off in both legs.

But City go into their latest meeting in good heart after reinvigorating their domestic title defence with a 5-0 thrashing of Newcastle on Saturday.

Barca boast world stars Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez in their forward line but Kompany is confident City can stand up to the challenge.

The defender said: “The next game is a massive one now and it’s one of those – if you have a good day it can be a special night.

“So we have to prepare and I think everyone is ready for it.

“We don’t fear them. You don’t go in at this level fearing strikers.

“We want to play against them. It’s the fourth time in a year now. There’s nothing new to worry us, it’s a case of having the whole team at a very high level.”

With City’s emphatic win over Newcastle coming after a 4-1 win at Stoke, the mood at Eastlands has been transformed after an indifferent start to the new year.

Chelsea had stretched seven points ahead at the top of the Premier League but the deficit has now been trimmed to five.

But even though things have improved on the home front, Kompany accepts Europe and Barcelona are completely different entities and a different approach will be required.

The 28-year-old said: “They’re a special team with special players. I think their ability is not about hurting you all game – you can have tougher games when you go to Stoke – it’s the fact they can decide a game within a second.

“They have more players than anyone else in the world who can finish games with a touch of magic.”