Dimitar Berbatov: Ighalo quarantine not ideal for United's big week

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United beat Brugge?

Betfair Ambassador Dimitar Berbatov discusses Manchester United's big week, Jadon Sancho's future and the return of the Champions League...

"As a player it is a very flattering situation when many teams are after your signature. It boosts your ego and it tells you that you are doing something right."

Quarantine not ideal

Reading the news about Odion Ighalo it's not ideal preparation for him, it's not pleasant to train away from the team. He will be training but alone, he won't be part of all the exercises, the tactics, the team building with his new teammates and that isn't a good thing.

At the same time when you are a professional you need to be prepared for situations, not quite like this with Coronavirus, but sometimes you have situations when you need to train alone and then you have to wait to be integrated into the team again. I know he will get a lot of help from his teammates, they have a good togetherness there so it's up to him now to show how good he is.

Sancho needs to join a club where he will play

Jadon Sancho has announced that he is going to be leaving Dortmund, which came as a surprise to me. I think he is really developing well in Germany and he is still very young. The progress he has made over there has been unbelievable and hopefully he has his reasons for deciding to leave. His agent, family and people around him can give him advice but where he goes now is anyone's guess.

For me, he needs to play, he needs to continue his development and that's why I'm surprised he wants to go because Dortmund gave him that opportunity as a player. He is still far away from a complete player, he is so young, so wherever he goes I hope he gets minutes so that he can play and continue his development and show how good he is.

Is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (pictured above) going to sign him for Manchester United? Why not? Coming from my time there, I would like to see him go to Old Trafford. Of course, it will make them more powerful, it will give them more speed than what they already have, but the question is where will he play?

Solskjaer  Clapping 1280.jpg

United have James, Martial, Rashford and Greenwood, it is going to be a good fight for competition with all those young players there, which is a good things. But overall, I would like to see him go somewhere and get minutes, not go straight to the bench and play from time to time.

His signature is going to be very sought after and there is already talk about Liverpool and Chelsea also being interested. Teams want to invest in talented young players, but if teams go out to sign him at any cost, then he is going to have a big expectation on him, and he needs to play regularly to develop. He may decide to stay abroad and got to a different club like PSG, Bayern Munich or Barcelona. There will be many clubs after him and it is down to him where he goes.

As a player it is a very flattering situation when many teams are after your signature. It boosts your ego and it tells you that you are doing something right. It makes you feel good but you do have choices to make which can be a bit overwhelming, you have to make a number of decisions and calculate where you will feel good, where you won't feel good and of course, there are a number of financial decisions to make which is important.

Mourhino gives Spurs edge in Champions League

Spurs are through to the last 16 in the Champions League and maybe we will now see them get the best of Mourinho. Leipzig are a team that cannot be underestimated.

When they played Bayern Munich they had a number of great chances to score but were unlucky in the end. So Spurs must be careful, especially with the speed of Leipzig who, in Timo Werner, have a player who can run at the speed of light. They cannot afford to underestimate them.

Mourinho and Son 1280.jpg

Spurs aren't the favourites to win the Champions League, they weren't the favourites to reach the final last year, but now they have that Mourinho-factor.

When he won it with Porto, they weren't the favourites but they lifted the trophy. He gives Spurs that extra bit in this competition, if he wins it with them he will go down into the Tottenham folklore. He is already one of the greats, nobody can take anything from him, if he wins the Champions League with Spurs he will have done it three times with different teams, and it is always good to do win a trophy with the underdogs, it's the best feeling.

Champions League is City's number one goal

Now that the title race is over for Man City, the Champions League will be their number one goal. All their effort will be towards trying to win their Holy Grail that they have been chasing for so long, but the way they are playing isn't up to their own standards. They need to up their game if they want to go to win it, so it is going to be a tough road ahead.

City have never won the Champions League and if Pep Guardiola pulls it off it will no doubt be their greatest achievement. They have already been Premier League champions and have won domestic cups but Europe has always got away from them. Whoever wins it, the coach and the players will be heroes, it's a big test for City and for me they have dropped their game so they need to put more effort in.

Real Madrid v Man City won't be an open game

Straight away they have a big test against Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane, a team and a coach that won this trophy three times in a row. If anyone knows how to play this tournament it is them, Zidane knows how to approach the games, of course it's not guaranteed that they will win it again but the numbers play in their favour.

Both teams will prepare and these days every team knows everything about the opposition, the good players, bad players, strong sides, weak sides and we will see what happens. It's not going to be an open game because both coaches will want to mastermind something and surprise the other team because in this game winning is everything, it's not about the game, it's about winning the tie, even if it is ugly.

I don't think Guardiola can change his style to face Madrid, it is his style of play and it is how he has achieved everything. I read that he recently said he feels lucky to have had great players in every team he has coached, that is why he has achieved so much success and I can't see him changing for Real Madrid.

Zinedine Zidane CL trophy 1280.jpg

Maybe, they will go a bit more direct, like they do in some matches, but this will be sporadic and it won't be all game because they like to keep the ball.

I think in the first leg, Madrid will want to get an early goal and to get a good result going to the Etihad. Of course, Guardiola will want the same.

Both teams are going to be really well prepared, both will know each other's strengths and weaknesses. They have excellent players and both teams probably need to stay concentrated for the whole 90 minutes, the team that makes the least mistakes will win. When you make mistakes against great teams they punish you.

Guardiola is one of football's untouchable class

There are some players in football like Messi and Ronaldo that are untouchable, because they have achieved so much and they have a great longevity in their success. The same can be said for Guardiola, Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti and other coaches like this that have achieved great success.

You are of course going to expect a dip from time to time but if things don't go well for City in the Champions League this year I don't think questions should be asked of Guardiola. The style he preaches, the way he sees the game, I think City fans like that and for me it won't be too much of a problem if this isn't their year. What the owners think is a different story.

Liverpool are the team to beat

Another one of the eye catching ties in the Champions League is Liverpool against Atletico Madrid. Simeone may be having a tricky time in La Liga, but I think he is similar to Jurgen Klopp and he knows how to inspire his team. You can see it when he is on the touchline, he is passionate about his team and he shows it. I am sure he will get his team pumped up for this tie because it is a great challenge.

Of course, they are the underdogs, and if they surprise everyone and knock Liverpool out it will give his team an unbelievable boost going forward. They suffered two Champions League final defeats against Real Madrid - imagine how painful that is - and that will no doubt be on the mind of Simeone still. I'm sure he would like to put that behind him, but this is a major test against Liverpool.

This is the Champions League and in this competition you can win one game and lose the next. Liverpool are the team to beat, but if Atleti do it then it will give them huge confidence and that is what you need to go all the way.

Barca should take a striker on loan

Barcelona find themselves in a unique position where they can sign a striker. If they are going to get someone in they need to consider who will fit in best and what their role will be when everyone is fit again. I think they are strong enough as they are with Antoine Griezemann, Messi, even the young player Fati who is getting more minutes and looking like he is going to have a great future. I think they are fine and they don't necessarily need to get anyone in.

If they are going to get someone in, they need to identify someone and keep in mind if they want someone on loan or for the long run, because when Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele come back they will be leading the line. For me, they would probably be best getting someone in on loan because if they buy someone it could lead to problems when everyone is fit.

No excuses for United in a big week

It is a big week for United, and hopefully they come back prepared for the task that lies ahead. Against Club Brugge in the Europa League they will be favourites but as we all know this doesn't mean anything. United need to prepare well and hopefully they can hit the ground running with their new players.

Bruno Fernandes will know everyone now, he has some minutes, so it will be exciting to see him in the next few matches.

United are not in a position to underestimate anyone at the moment, so that won't be the case against Club Brugge. They will know what to expect, and they need to win games to get through to the next round. They have had a good break to get ready physically and mentally, as well as bond even more with each other. So there are no excuses.

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