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Xavi reckons Pogba is key to Manchester United’s chances of beating Barca

Paul Pogba is the key to Manchester United’s chances of beating Barcelona, according to the Spanish club’s former midfield maestro Xavi.

Manchester United host the Spanish champions at Old Trafford in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday night, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side rated as underdogs against the five-times winners.

Former Barca midfielder Xavi, who won eight La Liga and four Champions League titles during a glittering career at the Nou Camp, believes Frenchman Pogba holds the key to United’s chances of an upset.

“So much depends on Pogba,” Xavi told the Mirror.

“Since the new coach has taken over – he looks a new player – the sort of player Manchester United paid all that money for.

“If they are going to be competitive in midfield he needs to show his physical dominance and it will give the midfield players around him confidence as well.”

Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic are doubts for United with knocks, though Marcus Rashford has recovered from an ankle problem and should start.