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Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen praises Man United ahead of Europa League clash

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has commended Manchester United’s improvement under Erik ten Hag.

The Red Devils face the La Liga club in the first leg of the Europa League play-off on Thursday at Camp Nou.

Barca are top of the Spanish top-flight, while Man United have also been in fine form under their Dutch manager.

The match promises to be an exhilarating clash, and Ter Stegen has praised Ten Hag’s impact on the team.

“No, actually, I am not a crazy football watcher in general, but of course I know who we’re playing,” the Germany international replied when asked if he has been watching Man United.

“Since the new coach was there, they made many changes. Before of course I saw some things because some of the players were watching the big games in England and they were always interested, so of course I got informed here and there.

“Maybe in the beginning (under Ten Hag) it was a bit of a struggle because it always takes a few months to create something, to inject a bit of your ideas.

“And now I think he is there, I think he had a great impact on the team but also to the fans, and the full club.”

Ter Stegen may not be watching the Red Devils, but he will have been well-briefed about their threats.

Barca have the best defensive record in La Liga this term, conceding just seven goals in 21 games.

They have kept 16 clean sheets and Man United will have to be on top of their game at Camp Nou.

The Catalans’ home ground is turning into a fortress again, and opponents have found it difficult to play there this season.

The Red Devils have scored at least two goals in 15 of their last 17 games across all competitions. They have failed to score in just two of their 36 matches this term.

England international striker Marcus Rashford is also in the form of his life, with 21 goals and six assists to his name this term.

Ten Hag will be confident of his side’s chances of leaving Spain with a great result ahead of next week’s return leg.

Barca will be without Ousmane Dembele and Sergio Busquets for the game owing to injury.

Man United also have their injury concerns, with Christian Eriksen out of action until April.

Lisandro Martinez and Marcel Sabitzer are also suspended for the game, but the Red Devils will be full of belief.

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