Wednesday 7 December 2016

Manchester United v Barcelona key battles

Mark Bryans

Published 26/05/2011 | 15:24

Manchester United face Barcelona at Wembley on Saturday in the Champions League final as they look to avenge their defeat to the Catalan giants in the 2009 final.

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Here, we look ahead to some of the key battles that could decide the destination of the trophy.

PATRICE EVRA v PEDRO

Forward Pedro has the ability to operate on either flank and is often the forgotten man in the Barcelona front line, but experienced full-back Evra will know what to expect from the tricky Spaniard.

Pedro has had his best season for Barca to date, scoring 21 goals in all competitions and France international Evra will have to find a balance between supporting United's attacks as well as minimising Pedro's threat.

PARK JI-SUNG v ANDRES INIESTA

Ballon d'Or runner-up Iniesta is one of the key figures in Pep Guardiola's free-flowing Barcelona side. His range of passing is unrivalled and he can also score vital goals.

Former South Korea captain Park will need all of his stamina and guile to snuff out Iniesta's threat as well as supplementing United going forward, although he has always been considered a big-game player by fans and pundits alike.

JAVIER HERNANDEZ v JAVIER MASCHERANO

Mascherano has been filling in at the heart of the Barcelona defence in the absence of skipper Carles Puyol, but he looks more likely to remain in the centre of defence on Saturday with Puyol switching to left-back. Hernandez has been an instant hit at Old Trafford, scoring in big games throughout his debut season, and the Mexican will be looking to use his pace to get the better of the makeshift defender.



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