Former Premier League striker, Dimitar Berbatov tipped Lionel Messi to beat Manchester United when both sides clashed in the quarter – final first leg tie of the Champions League on Wednesday at Old Trafford.
Berbatov, a former Manchester United player, is worried that Messi led Barcelona will “punish” the Red Devils in front of their home fans.
Manchester United reached the Champions League last eight after defeating Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, while Barcelona defeated Lyon.
“I’m concerned by United’s poor form and, if they continue to make mistakes like they have been doing recently, then, let’s face it, they’re going to be punished by Barcelona,” Berbatov told Betfair.
“They are making their lives difficult at the moment and it’s looking tough to make the top four in the Premier League now.
“United went on that incredible undefeated run when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over and this is their first bad patch.
“You know, when you’re winning everything feels natural and good but an important thing is knowing how to react to a defeat. I’m sure Ole knows what to do here and he will have his side fired up and ready for Barca.
“In football sometimes you have that strange thing where a club can falter against small teams but turn it on against big teams. It’s crucial to get motivated for every game, not just the big ones.
“Sir Alex Ferguson sometimes didn’t need to motivate us for the big games, his job and real skill was to motivate us for the small games.
“I admit, Barcelona are the rightful favourites in the tie, but, of course, so were PSG, and nothing is certain in football.
“United can forget their recent form and make a statement here, but – and it’s nothing new or original – they must watch out for that man Messi.”