In Football the adage says “It is not over until the final blast of the whistle by the Officiating Referee” and it is also eleven players versus eleven players. In this epic match today, Manchester United are hopeful Marcus Rashford will be fit to play Barcelona in their Champions League quarter-final first leg today, reports BBC.
Rashford missed United’s previous Premier League game, a 2-1 defeat to Wolves last week, with an ankle injury.
But the England striker trained yesterday before the game at Old Trafford, initially on his own before joining up with the rest of the squad.
“Hopefully he will be ready,” United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.
“He needed extra warm-up and hopefully he won’t get a reaction. He joined part of it at the end but he couldn’t join the fun part of training.”
Midfielder Nemanja Matic, who was an unused substitute in the Wolves defeat because of injury, did not train but Solskjaer says said he still hopes the Serb will be fit.
However, he said fellow midfielder, Andre Herrera is “probably out,” while forward Alexis Sanchez, who has missed United’s past five matches, will not feature against Barcelona despite returning to training.
United reached the quarter-finals by dramatically overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Paris St-Germain but since then, Solskjaer’s side have won one and lost three of their four matches since.
That run followed just one defeat in Solskjaer’s first 17 games, having been named caretaker-manager on December 19.
But the Norwegian, who was appointed permanently on March 28, says “confidence is high” in the squad.
“With the result and what we did against PSG and how we climbed the table, clawing back points, the players have given themselves and the supporters great confidence and belief we can do this.” Solskjaer said.
“Of course you lose games, we lost a couple we should have won, Wolves in the FA Cup is the one we are disappointed with, but we won a couple we should have done.
“Now we have learned from that PSG game, players have talked about it, how we were dragged into making fouls, how European football is, we have got to be more patient with their tackles, some of these players have tricks up their sleeve.”
Asked how he plans to deal with the Lionel Messi threat, Solskjaer said: “What kind of plan can you have to stop one of the best players in the world?
“We are looking forward to the opportunity but we have played Juventus with [Cristiano] Ronaldo, PSG with [Kylian] Mbappe, Chelsea with [Eden] Hazard.
“Suarez and Messi will keep our defenders on our toes tomorrow.
“There are two teams that do carry goal threats. There are some fantastic attacking players on display but there a defenders with absolute quality.”