Yaya Toure insists Manchester City still have a “50-50” chance of knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League and believes they return to the Camp Nou with greater mental strength than they had last season.
City lost the last-16 first leg 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in February, but Toure denies his old club are favourites to progress despite having home advantage in tonight’s return game.
Barca also knocked City out at the same stage of the competition last year — winning 2-0 in England and 2-1 in Spain — yet the midfielder feels the reigning Premier League champions have more quality and resolve than 12 months ago.
Yaya Toure is a former Barcelona player.
“We have got a few fantastic players at City and I think it is a 50-50 game because they won 2-1,” he told Champions League sponsors Nissan. “We didn’t win last year, but I think this year is different; it is a different team, a different squad and a different mentality.
“It is always difficult to play against Barcelona when you have to run after the score. But in football anything can happen. We have our chance and they have their chance as well and we will see.”
Toure, who left Barca for City in 2010, is available to make his return in the Champions League after being banned for the last three games following his red card against CSKA Moscow in the group stage in November.