Manchester United vs Barcelona predictions: 3 key battles
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United host Spanish champions Barcelona on the back of a poor run. The Red Devils have won just one of their last four games in all competitions and now face the daunting task of taking on Lionel Messi and his side.
United will have to be at their absolute best to get anything out of the game and Solskjaer will be hoping that home advantage will help his side over the line. The Red Devils also have an added incentive with a potential semi-final tie against Liverpool if the overcome the La Liga giants.
Here are 3 key battles that could potentially determine the game:
Lionel Messi vs Manchester United’s backline
The Argentine superstar has done it before against Manchester United on the biggest stage of them all at Wembley and Messi is still as big a danger as he was all those years ago. Messi will play a free role on Wednesday and will be a huge threat to Manchester United’s back-line.
The likes of Shaw and Lindelof will have to bring their A-game against Messi on Barcelona’s right flank and any lapse in concentration could prove costly.
Luis Suarez vs Victor Lindelof
The former Liverpool man’s rivalry with United has been open for the world to see over the years and he will want prove a point yet again on Wednesday.
Suarez has scored 23 goals and has provided 11 assists this season and the Uruguayan’s finishing could take the game from United.
One man who will have a lot on his plate on Wednesday is Victor Lindelof. The Swede has been United’s best defender this season and if he is at his best against Barcelona, the Red Devils’ chances of getting anything from the game will increase considerably.
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Marcus Rashford vs Gerard Pique
Rashford has thrived since Solskjaer’s arrival at Old Trafford and the Englishman has scored 13 goals and provided 9 assists in all competitions so far.
Rashford’s pace up top will be United’s biggest outlet in the tie and if the 21-year-old can take his chances, United will finish the game happily.
Former Manchester United defender Gerard Pique will have the tough task of containing Rashford and the Spaniard in recent years has had a massive dip in form.
Pique’s positioning at the back will have a massive impact on the result of the game and the 32-year-old’s performance could win or lose the game for the Catalans.