Ernesto Valverde wary of United threat


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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde says his side need to be wary of “powerful” Manchester United as they prepare to meet in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

The two teams will face off on Wednesday night in Old Trafford in what will be the 12th encounter between the pair in Europe.

The last meeting came in the 2011 Champions League final, with Barcelona winning 3-1. However, this week’s tie promises to be an intriguing one, with United improving under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Barcelona have never beaten United away from home and Valverde believes his team will need be at their very best to get a result.

He told reporters: “They are a powerful team. They are going through a good run, even if they lost their last match (against Wolves in the Premier League).

“Physically they are really strong and they know how to put pressure on their opponents. They have players who are physically very powerful, and they can be dangerous strategically as well.

“This match is a classic in European football. Barcelona have never won at Old Trafford I believe and we are going to try and change that.”

Barcelona warmed up for the European clash by beating Atletico Madrid 2-0 on Saturday. Goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi ensured they have now have an 11-point lead at the top of La Liga.

United are 3.60 to win on Wednesday, with the draw available at the same price, while Barcelona remain 2.05 favourites.

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