David De Gea has changed his preparation for Manchester United’s Champions League fixture against Barcelona and it’s down to one man; Lionel Messi.
The Barcelona skipper failed to score against United in the first-leg but he’s already bagged a staggering 43 goals this season – including eight in Europe.
And ahead of the Reds facing Barcelona at the Camp Nou, De Gea has tailored his approach in order to stop Messi as revealed by United’s goalkeeping coach Emilio Alvarez.
“Those who know David well can tell you one of his virtues is his ability to block everything out, he is very strong mentally,” he said.
“We do something different when facing Messi. With De Gea we have worked on some more specific work, there are some extras compared to other games with having Leo up front.
“I wouldn’t lie if I said we do a super special preparation. I worked in La Liga for many years with David as well and before with other keepers.
“I can’t deny that there is a particularity regarding Leo. In the end, you try to offer tools and data to the keeper so that it can help him.”
Alvarez added: “In this game we have a lot of respect for the opponents and their players, but no fear. We have been able to beat important rivals like Barcelona, so we are capable of winning against any team.
“The most important thing is to know that the Champions League is a different competition than the Premier League. The way we eliminated PSG is a reinforcement for us. It is the most important game of the season.”
United trail by one-goal following last week’s defeat at Old Trafford.
Will they produce another dramatic result in the Champions League and secure a spot in the semi-finals?
Let us know what you think in the comment section below.