Bullish Rio Ferdinand makes big call on Barcelona v Man Utd tie

Date published: Tuesday 16th April 2019 1:10

Rio Ferdinand

A confident Rio Ferdinand has explained why he believes Manchester United can get the better of Barcelona in the Nou Camp and reach the Champions League semi-finals.

United trail 1-0 heading into the second leg of their quarter-final tie and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pinning his hopes on three players in particular ahead of the return showdown.

Alexis Sanchez was among United’s 22-man travelling contingent and is in contention to make a return against his former club after six weeks on the sidelines because of a knee injury.

United are huge underdogs going into the match but Ferdinand‘s heart is telling him they could upset Barcelona.

“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],” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“Build that believe from somewhere. That’s down to the management, the staff to instill 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.

“That’s when Barca 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 (Lionel) 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 Utd and then we go penalties.”


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