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Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde says he is wary of “powerful” Manchester United ahead of the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

The two sides go head-to-head at Old Trafford on Wednesday for the 12th time in Europe but the first since the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley, which Barcelona won 3-1.

Despite only losing three of the eleven meetings between the teams, the Spanish giants have never beaten United away from home, something Valverde is well aware of but is hoping to change.

Valverde expects a difficult tie against Manchester United in the quarter-finals

“They are a powerful team. They are going through a good run, even if they lost their last match (against Wolves in the Premier League),” he said.

“Physically they are really strong and they know how to put pressure on their opponents. They have players who are physically very powerful, and they can be dangerous strategically as well.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won 15 of his 21 matches in charge

“This match is a classic in European football. Barcelona have never won at Old Trafford I believe and we are going to try and change that.”

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his assistant Mike Phelan were in attendance at the Nou Camp as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 on Saturday.View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Late goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi opened up an 11-point lead at the top of La Liga, a win which Valverde insists was important to build confidence as his side continue to chase three trophies.

“This is a crucial victory. Three crucial points but we must continue,” he said.

Lionel Messi rounded off Barcelona's 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid

“Everyone knew the importance of this game and we are a little closer, but there are still 21 points to be awarded and we still need to be champions.

“We wanted to win tonight because it brings us a lot of confidence. We have matches now that follow very quickly.


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