Manchester United vs Barcelona: Pre-Match Analysis
Manchester United’s chances of causing Barcelona an upset in the Champions League would be 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. But this edition of the competition has already thrown many unexpected results. Who's to say there won't be another one?
Can Manchester United repeat their heroics from that night at the Parc des Princes? Facing the mighty Barcelona is a whole different ball game. But can they do it again? Let's have a look at the factors that could benefit both the teams.
Being 2–0 down after the first leg at Old Trafford, Manchester United were facing a similar (though not of the same extent) challenge. Everyone wrote them off even before a ball was kicked, everyone except Ole.
“When we go down there to Paris, we'll give it a go. Of course, it's a difficult, difficult mountain to climb but it's not impossible,” Ole said after the defeat at Old Trafford.
And to the surprise of many, they did overturn the first leg deficit and progressed to the Quarter Finals of the competition at the expense of favorites PSG.
This edition of the Champions League is more open than any of the previous ones. At this point in the competition, all the remaining teams have a realistic shot at glory (including Porto and Manchester United).
Ole has been in his usual upbeat mood too, “We’ve shown against PSG that on any given day we can beat a top team. It's a tough one — it's a mountain to climb — but we've climbed a few mountains before.”
That said, here are the things which might work for Barcelona:
Who else than the God himself (sorry Pope Francis). Valverde’s Barcelona is not of the similar ilk as of Guardiola’s or even Enrique’s Barcelona. Yet, they have their biggest weapon in the form of Messi.
Throughout his career, Messi has improved his game and has performed with almost superhuman consistency. He might not be the fastest player anymore but his overall game is on a different level now. This season too, he has been in imperious form.
After seeing the great rivals Real Madrid march to three consecutive UCL victories, Messi is determined to bring back the trophy to Camp Nou. Barca’s captain with his excellent performances is almost single-handedly taking care of the goals. With 43 goals and 21 assists in 40 games, there is no other player on the planet who can boast of such a record. Barca’s chances of progression rely heavily on their talisman.