Football: Manchester City stay calm and confident ahead of clash against Barcelona

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester City do not have an inferiority complex as they prepare to host Barcelona in their Champions League last 16 first leg tie at The Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, said midfielder Samir Nasri.

A year ago, at the same stage, City bowed out 4-1 on aggregate against the four-time European champions, never recovering from losing 2-0 at home.

There is a growing belief, however, that the Premier League champions are hitting top gear at just the right moment and can reach the quarter-finals of Europe's blue-riband competition for the first time.

"I think it was too much of a big game for us (last year)," Nasri told a news conference on Monday. "We gave Barca too much respect last year. This year is different. We know what we're capable of. We're not going to be scared."

Said City's captain Vincent Kompany, who will be manning the barricades to stop Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez: "You don't go in at this level fearing strikers. We want to play against them. It will be the fourth time in a year. There's nothing new to worry us, it's a case of having the whole team at a very high level.

"They're a special team with special players, of course. I think their ability is not about hurting you all game - you can have tougher games when you go to Stoke City.

"It's about the fact they can decide a game within a second, can finish games with a touch of magic."

City, 5-0 winners at home to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday, were boosted on Tuesday with the news that midfield trojan James Milner had shaken off an injury and manager Manuel Pellegrini was upbeat about his side's prospects.

"The main thing is to fight for possession of the ball. A game with slow pace is better for Barcelona. We need the ball and good distribution, to get Barcelona as close to their own box as possible."