Man United midfielder Fred previews Barcelona tie
Manchester United have been handed a mouthwatering draw in their Europa League play-off game, with the Reds set for two games against Barcelona, who dropped down from the Champions League group stages.
Erik ten Hag’s men finished second in their group and will now face Barcelona in a bid to secure a place in the round of 16 of the Europa League.
The first leg will be played at the Spotify Camp Nou in potentially the biggest away game since United made the same trip for a Champions League quarter-final clash in 2019.
Fred, who has been used sporadically by Ten Hag this season, played in that game and now, he has previewed the tie, insisting they are ready for the test.
“We know that Barcelona is a great team,” Fred told the official Manchester United website. “It won’t be an easy game, there are no easy games in the Europa League. We were drawn against Barcelona. It will be a great game, I’m sure we are ready for it.
“We players like playing in great fixtures like these ones, and we are prepared for this game. God willing, we’ll qualify for the next round.
“Our stadium has always had a great atmosphere with the fans constantly behind us. Obviously, we haven’t done as well in the last few seasons, but they have always been together with us, supporting the team.
“This season is no different; every game, the big games, they were here, and we’ve had some great games and victories.
“I’m sure they’ll be here against Barcelona supporting us, they’ll give us strength to get the win. That’s why it’s so important to play in front of our fans and get a result here.”
It might not be a semi-final in the Champions League but the meeting between these two teams always attracts everyone’s attention and this time will be no different.
United have enjoyed a rise under Ten Hag over the last two months and although the form after the upcoming five-week World Cup break will decide the mood, United will be fancying their chances of going through.
Should United make it through, there will still be some very tough ties for them to get through on their way to the final, with Arsenal, Juventus and Ajax all potentially remaining by that point.