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16th Apr 2019

Rio Ferdinand predicts Manchester United will beat Barcelona and progress in Champions League


“It could be 1-0 Man United and then we go penalties”

Rio Ferdinand has predicted that Manchester United will make a stunning comeback against Barcelona as they head to the Nou Camp tonight in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

Although he admitted the club could struggle to contain Lionel Messi, the former United defender said he still held hope that the Red Devils would be able to overturn the 1-0 deficit they sustained at Old Trafford last week.

Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand said: “They had some positives, but they’ve got to score when they go there, they didn’t have a single shot on target [in the first leg].

“Build that belief from somewhere. That’s down to the management, the staff to instil that into these players.

“If you want to win tournaments like this and be successful, the confidence to score goals has got to be there for all to see.

“I think he wants to make sure they’re tight at the back. He wouldn’t want a repeat of the first fifteen minutes [at Old Trafford], they looked nervy at the back.”

He added: “That’s when Barça were turning the screw. If they can come out, be on the front foot and change the pace of the game.

“I think Barca play at their own pace, if they change the pace of the game and put them under pressure, then we’ll get a couple of chances and hopefully put them away.

“My heart says yes they can, but it’s more about what Messi turns up. He’s that great, he’s done so much at the top level for a consistent period of time.

“It could be 1-0 Man United and then we go penalties.”

Barcelona will be well rested after Messi, Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets were all rested at the weekend for Barcelona’s away trip to Huesca.