Former Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho has predicted the winner between Manchester United and Barcelona in the Champions League Quarterfinals.
Former Manchester United manager has backed his former club to bag a surprise victory but has recommended being wary of Lionel Messi. Jose Mourinho, who has encountered plenty of clashes against Barcelona while his stint at Santiago Bernabeu has made a claim that the Blaugrana superstar will aspire to leave his footprint at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will go into this tie as underdogs, just as they did against Paris Saint Germain in the last round, but the pressure might get the best out of the Blaugrana who are under scrutiny for their underperformances over the last three years in the Champions League.
The Red Devils pulled off one of the memorable comebacks against the French outfit PSG at their home turf and Jose Mourinho believes that his former side can repeat the same foot against Barcelona.
“United this season was capable to win against Juventus and against PSG why not to do it against Barcelona?”
The Portuguese International did leave a warning to his former club by claiming to stop Lionel Messi from having a good game.
“But Barca will be aware of that, will respect United and Old Trafford and Messi will want to leave his footprint in a mythical stadium,” he added.
Lionel Messi has scored 43 goals and set up 14 goals for his teammates this campaign and leads the score chart in the top five European leagues. It will be tough to keep him quiet, but the Red Devils defender Chris Smalling is relishing the challenge of playing against one of the best players to have played the game.
“[Stopping Messi] is a challenge to relish,” said Smalling.
“This season I have been lucky enough to face [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Kylian] Mbappe. They are challenges I relish and players at this club relish, and I say bring it on.”
When asked about what the Champions League means to him, Smalling insisted that United need to enjoy the moment in big games like this.
“You work so hard to get into those Champions League places, like last season, and we’re working now to get third this season,” he stated.
“These are the times we look forward to. We, as players, all want to be on that field and show what we can do.”
Here’s how Twitter reacted..
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) April 10, 2019
“Messi will want to leave his footprint in a mythical stadium.”
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) April 10, 2019
The former United boss also gave his insight into what will be going through Lionel Messi’s mind going into the game https://t.co/MMF8DhYQad
— Footy Corner (@footycor) April 10, 2019
Manchester United will take on Barcelona in the Champions League Quarterfinals at Old Trafford on Wednesday and that clash is followed by the Premier League game against West Ham United three days later.