As much as it's always claimed that anybody can beat anybody in the Premier League, that's never true over the course of a full season. It's part of what makes league competitions so much better in many ways than cups - it's entertainingly open from week to week, while still ensuring that the winning team at the end of the season is almost always the best one.
Barca are the bookies' favourites for the tie by some margin, but they may have it wrong. City have had their slump, this is the resurgence. Is it time for them to finally explode onto the European stage? Don't bet against it.
Chelsea and City are currently out in front by a large distance and are understandably favourites to take the crown, though contrary to popular belief, this year's Premier League is not yet just a duel between the two teams in blue.
What have I read, what have I learned, what have I proved to myself, that's what I want to know. Not about the random highs, but the necessary and sustained lows. Not about the chaos, but about the easy order of silence. Bloody 'ell I sound like a Vulcan. But no, seriously, my point is, I think 2014 has made me a better artist.
Manchester City won their second Premier League crown last term, but are already playing catchup in this season's title race after a string of poor results over the first three months of the campaign. But the current City team isn't alone in melting under the pressure when it comes to defending the title, with several spectacular examples over the years.
Guardiola will be in high demand whenever he decides to move on from Bayern Munich, but the irony is that for precisely the same reasons he was given the opportunity to manage Barcelona, he may well end up getting overlooked for the job at City.
It's back - the greatest club competition on the planet and the 2014/15 season promises to be one of the most exciting yet... the draw for the group stages has just taken place and the excitement surrounding how the English clubs will fare this season is paramount. Let's take a look at who they'll be up against...
Each team will sign a player at one stage or another who just simply fails to perform. He may not adapt to the side's style of play, he may not get enough time on the field or he may inexplicably lose all footballing ability, what's known as doing a Torres. Here are five players who can relate to this and need to leave their current clubs as soon as possible if they hope to shine again.
The season is almost here, close enough to almost smell the overpriced half-time chips and pies... It's been an eventful wait since the World Cup, with no clubs standing still, but who's impressed in the last month and who's accidentally thrown it into reverse?
Chelsea, who many, with good reason, have installed as favourites... If Hazard increases his consistency of effort, Chelsea's attack, wherever Fabregas plays, looks unstoppable; but if he doesn't, then questions about how Chelsea best utilize their many talents could arise.
In Fernando, Pellegrini hopes he has found the missing piece of the jigsaw... Fernando is not the most eye-catching signing, but away from the limelight and operating in the shadows of a game, he may well turn out to be the best addition City have made this summer.
The Premier League title race of 2013/14 provided plenty of dramatic twists and turns, resulting in one of the most exciting campaigns in years. But there is already plenty of reason to believe that the new season will be even better and here's a look at why.
For £6m, the signing of Caballero is an astute piece of business for a player who has the potential to leapfrog Hart as the Citizens' number one. The team needs strength in reserve and a goalkeeper of his calibre will undoubtedly keep Hart on his toes.
With the football now finally underway, I expect the FIFA corruption stories to disappear from the media for a while. Let's hope this is an opportunity to focus on much bigger scandals, including those closer to home.
Whilst the drama and excitement of the 2013/14 Premier League run-in has come to an end, UEFA have wasted no time in enacting an elementary sanction on billionaire Premier League champions Manchester City for breaching the rules of Financial Fair Play.
Manuel Pellegrini's side didn't dominate the season as predicted, but just managed to sneak under the radar and lift the trophy on the final day. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that they wholly deserved to win it, so read on to find my seven reasons for why the title went to right club.