4 Clubs who can stop Barcelona from winning the Champions League this season
After a three-week absence, the Champions League is back with a bang as Europe's biggest clubs battle it out for continental glory.
If the last round was anything to go by, then we can be sure of enthralling edge-of-your-seat action over the next week as the final eight clubs battle it out for a spot in the semi-final.
One of the eight clubs still left in the hat is Barcelona and given their status and pedigree, the Catalans were among the pre-tournament favourites for this competition.
However, despite the presence of some of the best players in the world (read Messi) at Camp Nou, there are still a number of clubs who are more than capable of stopping Barcelona in their quest for a first continental crown in four years. In this piece, we shall be having a rundown of four clubs who could stop Barcelona from winning the Champions League this season.
#4 Manchester United
When the draws were made and Barcelona was drawn out from the pot as Manchester United's quarter-final opponent, there must have been lots of groans and gasps from Red Devils all over the world and rightly so.
Barcelona have been in almost pristine form throughout the season, still in the running on all fronts, with their charge led by the almost unplayable Lionel Messi.
The 31-year-old is in the form of his life (at the risk of sounding cliche) and more than a few United fans must have been scratching their heads as to how they could stop the Argentine maestro.
The Messi factor among others firmly establishes Barcelona as heavy favourites to progress in this tie, which begs the question as to how exactly Manchester United can be considered a threat to knocking the five-time champions out.
First of all, it must be remembered that for all of their recent struggles, United themselves are no slouches when it comes to pedigree and as three-time winners of this competition, they know what it takes to triumph in major competitions, while they have a history almost as illustrious as that of their opponents.
The Red Devils had overachieved in reaching this far, as virtually no one gave them a chance when they were paired in the last round with PSG and much less when they posted a 2-0 first leg loss at home.
However, in shocking scenes, the Mancunians rallied in the second leg in Paris to pull off one of the shocks of the season by defeating the French moneybags on their own perch to advance to this stage.
Even though they might be some way off matching the quality on offer at Barcelona, Manchester United have enough players of ability within their ranks to trouble the Spaniards and the early part of Solskjaer's reign when the club played some of the most exhilarating football post-Fergie serves as proof of their ability.
Manchester United eliminating Barcelona would be a shock, make no mistake about it, but it would not necessarily be the most surprising result of the season or even this round for that matter and given Barcelona's recent history of falling at this stage to lesser opponents (Roma anyone?), they would be keen to avoid any slip-ups.