Philippe Coutinho identifies Manchester United danger men vs Barcelona
Three-time European Cup winners United host five-time winners Barca on April 10 before the return leg in Catalonia six days later.
Paul Pogba will return to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s starting XI after missing United’s last European match, March’s dramatic win in Paris, through suspension and Coutinho views the Frenchman as one of United’s danger men.
“It’s complicated to describe what you have to do to win against this team. For a start, Manchester United have a great goalkeeper and huge players in attack,” said Coutinho.
“Pogba and Lukaku are capable of hurting any defence and Pogba, in particular, is a great player.
“We will have to be very careful to stop him because he can generate a lot of problems for us and I think the duel with Pique [and Lukaku] will be important in both matches.
“United have had some inconsistent results recently, but it’s clear they have improved in every area under Solskjaer.
“For me, the key for both sides is going to be in attack. Whoever wins that battle will be in the semi-final – and I’m confident it will be Barca.
“If we play with our usual character and style, then we can win at Old Trafford.”
On the reception he is expecting to get from United’s fans as a former Liverpool player, Coutinho added: “If they boo myself and Luis Suarez, then that’s normal at Old Trafford because of the team we used to play for. But it won’t make any difference to me.
“And, even more than that, it is an incentive to play better and to be even more focused.
“I know that games against Manchester United are special. I learned what they meant during my time at Liverpool when we lived it so intensely with the fans.
“I have that nailed in my memory and, even though this is a different stage, if Barcelona knock United out of Europe, it will be a double personal satisfaction for me.”