Manchester United will Wednesday night host Barcelona in a mouthwatering Champions League Last 16 tie.
For many, the Red Devils do not stand a chance against the Catalan giants but if Ole Gunnar Solkjaser’s men try these five things, they could emerge victorious against the Spanish giants the same way they shocked French champions PSG when no one gave them a chance.
Here are the five actions they need to take.
1. Frustrate Lionel Messi
The need to throw bodies on the line to stop Messi cannot be overemphasised.
Arguably the world’s greatest footballer, Lionel Messi has shown time and again that he can score against any team including on the big stage.
It is however important not to focus just on Messi. Barcelona have a lot of quality in other areas of the pitch that can hurt any team.
Putting a specific man on Messi to frustrate him and clip at his heels may just work for the English team.
2. Cage Suarez too
The same way Messi needs attention, his strike partner, Luis Suarez, also needs attention. With the Uruguayan easily angered, United can play on that to get the better off the striker.
The Manchester crowd also have to put more pressure on Suarez based on his exploits while playing for Liverpool. Despite achieving personal glory, including highest goal scorer in the EPL as well as player of the season, Suarez was never a darling of the British press and public.
3. Pogba needs his ‘A’ Game
The French star has not been fantastic lately especially all through March. United’s improvement in form under Solksjaer also saw a huge improvement in the performance of Pogba; until March.
United will need the midfield maestro to be up and doing to stand a chance against the Catalan giants.
4.Protect David de Gea
They have to throw their bodies in the way and protect David de Gea’s goal at all times.
Anything else and it will be a stroll in the park for Barcelona.
5. Take your chances
It sounds obvious but United must be clinical in front of goal tonight. Whether they are leading in the game, trailing or the scores are level, momentum in a tie can shift so much with a goal.
United will be hoping that Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard and others cause some problems.