Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he would not be surprised to see lots of goals over the two legs of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona.
The Reds are preparing to face the Catalan giants in the first leg at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, a fixture which brings Barça to the Theatre of Dreams for the first time in 11 years.
On their last visit, the tie was decided by just one goal – an unforgettable strike from Paul Scholes – but this time around Ole has claimed he could see the ball finding the back of the net on a few more occasions, given the attacking resources available to both sides.
“I think the two teams carry goal threats,”
Ole told the media, in his pre-match press conference at Old Trafford on Tuesday afternoon.
“There are some fantastic attacking players on display, but again there are defenders there that are absolute quality,” he added.
Included in that group of supremely talented attacking players is Barça’s Lionel Messi, a man the Reds know well from the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals as well as the 2008 semi-final.
While the Argentinian is widely considered one of the best players on the planet, Solskjaer insists the Reds have no specific system to nullify Messi’s ability.
“What kind of plan can you have to stop one of the best players in the world?” the manager responded, when asked about combating the 31-year-old.
“It’s not like it’s just Messi against Manchester United. [Luis] Suarez, [Philippe] Coutinho, [Ivan] Rakitic, [Arturo] Vidal – there are so many good players [for Barcelona]. We cannot just focus on one player. We know we have to play against 11 of them.
“Suarez, Coutinho and Messi will keep our defenders on their toes so let’s see how we manage tomorrow.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity,” Ole added.
“But this season we played against Juventus and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Paris Saint-Germain with [Kilian] Mbappe and Chelsea with [Eden] Hazard.