Date: 23rd April 2008 at 12:22pm
Written by:

Though all the previews focus on the battle between Messi and Ronaldo, I’d like to concentrate on players who do meet on the pitch as well.

Barcelona, studded with stars, a technically gifted side with quick, incisive midfielders and forwards. That’s clear and we have a massive task on our hands in terms of defending them.

However, they have one glaring weakness which is only worsened by the absence of the suspended Carles Puyol: they have little pace in defence. Milito and Marquez are quite slow and that is something that will interest Fergie.

This particular trait, combined with the lack of experience that Yaya Toure has made Barcelona extremely vulnerable on the break all season. Seeing that the lightning-quick counterattacks are one of our main strenghts we have to make advantage of this.

Rooney loves central defenders who are not very quick – you have to remember how he ran Carragher into the ground against Liverpool. He should have a field day this time.

And I think that this is the reason why we should not start Ryan Giggs. Either Park or Nani offers much more pace than Ryan who is off-colour. I read suggestions that we should go out and attack Barcelona but I think they will annihilate us in that case. We must wait for opportunities on the break and exploit our speed. That should cause them serious trouble. If inviting pressure results in the failure to keep a clean sheet – well, I can accept that if we get a 2-2 draw, for example.