Valverde express Barca feelings ahead of Man Utd visit

Champions League By: Iseghohi Odianosen | 16/04/2019

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has expressed Barcelona feelings ahead of the second leg clash against Manchester United in the quarterfinal of the Champions League on Tuesday, according to Marca.

Barcelona has not progressed beyond the quarterfinals since the won the tournament in 2015 and they were bundled out by AS Roma in the last edition of the competition despite having a huge advantage over the Italians team.

Catalonia giants now face Manchester United at the Camp Nou on Tuesday, holding on to a 1-0 lead from the first leg at Old Trafford.

"There is no fear, only tremendous excitement," Valverde said in his pre-match press conference.

"We're ready to try to go through, knowing that we're facing a great team.

"We're both good sides, we have a lot of excitement to try to reach the semi-finals.

"I think that experience [of the Roma loss] serves for something.

"We all know we're in for a tough game.

"They could go through as well, but we have to do everything possible so that they go out because of us."

While Barcelona was on the wrong end of a comeback against Roma, the Red Devils produced their own historic comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the previous round.

"We know what they've done in the Champions League this year," Valverde said.

"They've won three out of four away games, with some of those wins coming in the last few minutes.

"We have to be aware of this.

"I imagine that they'll use their most attacking players."

Some have suggested that, with their 1-0 lead from the first leg, Barcelona will prioritise defending that lead over anything else.

"Evidently, we'll try not to concede and also try to score," 

"Our priority is scoring, not going out there thinking we have an advantage.

"That's absurd.”

Lionel Messi was badly hurt in the first leg after a heavy clash with Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.

He was rested for the weekend's game away at Huesca and Valverde has assured fans that he will be able to play.

"He's perfectly fine after the collision," he confirmed.

"It's true that he was dazed during the first leg, but he's perfectly fine for this game."

Unlike Messi, there are doubts over whether Ousmane Dembele can start at the Camp Nou, having only just recovered from a hamstring injury.

"It could be that he starts and it could be that he doesn't," 

"He completed 60 minutes the other day [against Huesca], which was what was predicted more or less.

"The idea was that he'd be available.

"Those who start will be important, but also those that come on.

"United have something special in the last few minutes.

"In fact, they won the European Cup here in the last two minutes."