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Manchester United squad given boost ahead of Barcelona clash

16 April 2019

That is my job now.

The trio aren't exactly the most beloved of players to the fans but their return to full fitness is needed.

"Physically we're ready", he said.

"In football, you know anything could happen", Solskjaer noted. "But we have to use [crosses] better than last week".

United advanced to the quarter-finals by overturning a 2-0 first leg deficit against PSG in the round of 16.

Although they warmed up for the game with a goalless draw away to Huesca, Ernesto Valverde rang in the changes for that game.

"We need big performances from forward players", said Solskjaer.

"It will have helped us as a team", the Norwegian said. "We're playing a fantastic team and I know my guys are going to run until the ground takes them". Barcelona is a hard prospect.

Falling down the pecking order in a Barca squad laced with star talent and built around arguably the best player ever in Messi is one thing.

Midfielder Nemanja Matic and full-back Matteo Darmian were also part of the 22-man squad heading out to Barcelona on Monday morning but Ander Herrera and Eric Bailly miss out.

"Alexis has been here and played here", Solskjaer said.

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"He has been injured and has not had a fantastic season so far". "Let's hope Alexis when he's on the pitch can be happy and can feature in the business end of the season".

United's short-term target is to secure a Premier League top-four finish and qualification for the Champions League, but Solskjaer wants the club to compete for major honours next season. "The first leg result is not definitive".

"We have to play our own way".

"We are physically taller than them, we are bigger than them". 'Manchester United have something special in the last minutes of games.

Manchester United lost the first leg against Barca 1-0 thanks to a Luis Suarez header which was diverted in by Luke Shaw.

Barcelona have progressed from 39 of their 41 European ties in which they won the first leg away from home - the exceptions were against FC Koln in the 1980-81 UEFA Cup, and against Metz in the 1984-85 Cup Winners' Cup. They have also not conceded a couple of times in any of those 30 games (15 goals in total) since a 0-3 loss to Bayern Munich in the 2012-13 semi-finals.

"Maybe teams are more open against us", he said of why he thought they had found goals easier to come by on their travels.

There was a caveat to Valverde's talk of past United glory at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona's talisman has not scored in 12 Champions League, but Valverde wasn't anxious by that, or his clubs recent struggles at this stage of the competition.

David De Gea admits Manchester United must "improve a lot" if they are to beat Barcelona on Tuesday night.

Manchester United squad given boost ahead of Barcelona clash