Football fans around the world are eagerly anticipating the Round of 32 match-up between Manchester United and Barcelona in the Europa League. Many experts believe that this will be a closely contested match, with both teams coming into the game in their best form of the season.
Xavi was full of praise for Manchester United’s recent performances, noting that “you can see in the last matches how Manchester United were very strong, and have improved a lot.”
He also had high praise for United’s manager, Erik ten Hag, saying: “he’s a great coach and it was not easy to reverse United’s situation and I think he’s succeeding. They have made a lot of changes in attack, they have modified the idea of the game. Most of the team attacks. He’s an offensive coach.”
“A lot of things can complicate a match. I expect a game with a lot of intensity and rhythm. It’s Europe and we want to show that we can compete against a top-level European competitor,” Xavi said. “The clash will be decided at Old Trafford. I imagine very even matches, with a very close result. A few things will be decided tomorrow and we will have the second leg, which unfortunately we will not play at home.”
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Xavi also reflected on Barcelona’s past mistakes in the Europa League, noting that they cannot make the same mistakes they made last year against Frankfurt
“We cannot make the mistake we made last year vs Frankfurt. You learn from mistakes and hope it does not happen again.”
Overall, it seems that both teams are entering the matchup with a high level of respect for each other. With two teams in their best form of the season, this Europa League matchup promises to be an exciting and closely contested game that will be a must-watch for football fans around the world.
By Kanak Chauhan – for more from Kanak, check out this piece on the new scandal involving referees and FC Barcelona