Three Reasons Why Barcelona Will Beat Manchester United In the UEFA Champions League
The first leg of UEFA Champions League quarter finals are on the horizon, and my are there some intriguing matches. Arguably, the most thrilling of them all is Wednesday’s clash between Manchester United and Barcelona.
Manchester United hope to bounce back from their recent struggles as they have lost 3 out of the last four in all competitions. In the Champion’s League, however, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men hope to maintain their momentum as they were victorious in a memorable comeback against the French heavyweights, Paris Saint-Germain, in the round of 16.
Barcelona are currently alive and dominating in each of their three competitions this year. Barca play in the Copa Del Rey Final against Valencia in May, have seemingly already won the La Liga title with seven games left to play, and are undefeated in the Champions League this season. A dominant Barca will most likely bypass a struggling Manchester United for three main reasons.
First and foremost, Manchester United will struggle to find a way to contain Barca’s skipper, Lionel Messi. Enjoying what is probably his most influential campaign to date, the Argentine appears to be unstoppable in every facet of the beautiful game. In his scintillating form, Messi is scoring insane goals, left and right, and when he isn’t popping them in himself, he is creating numerous opportunities for his teammates. It will be Man United’s biggest challenge when they play Barca, and one I doubt they will find an answer to.
The second reason Barca will bypass the Red Devils is because of Lionel Messi’s best mate, Luis Suarez. Although the Urugyana suffered criticism for his lack of production early in the season, Suarez is hitting his best form of the season, scoring 5 goals and bagging 3 assists in his last 8 games. Yes, Barca fans who have been keeping an eye on Suarez know he has struggled in the Champions league for what seems like a decade now, not scoring away from the Camp Nou since four years ago against Roma.However, as Barca travel to Old Trafford this Wednesday, look for Suarez to finally come out of hibernation and display his fine form against the Premier League giants.
A key reason Barca will progress to the semi-final is because Man United will have a difficult time putting the ball in the back of Barca’s net. Barca’s rejuvenated defence looks almost impenetrable, mainly thanks to Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet. At the moment, the Spanish central defender is in the best form of his career, exhibiting world-class performances throughout the season, most notably against big clubs like Atletico de Madrid and Barca’s arch rivals Real Madrid. It’s not all Pique, however, as Frenchman Clement Lenglet has been solid in the absence of Samuel Umtiti, ultimately taking his fellow Frenchman’s starting spot. With both Pique and Lenglet protecting Barca’s goal, Manchester United will find chances far and few between.
Overall, the game will be fast-paced and exciting as the young guns of Manchester United look to take out the experienced Barcelona. However, Messi and Suarez, along with a solid back-line will prove to be too much for Solskjaer’s inexperienced men, and thus will be the dominate team.
Predicted score: 0-2 in favor of the visiting team.