The La Liga leaders travel to Old Trafford for the first leg of their clash next Wednesday after seeing off Lyon 5-1 on aggregate in the last 16.
Rakitic believes United’s 3-1 win in Paris in their last-16 second leg, after losing the first encounter 2-0 in England, showed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is getting the best out of a dangerous team.
“We saw how good they were and we know English clubs are strong at the moment,” Rakitic told GQ.
“Man United are having good results and to score three goals in Paris was incredible. You have to respect Manchester for this comeback, for the organisation and fight in the team with so many young players.
“I have a lot of respect for the British people and the passion which they have for football, the full stadiums.
“You have to know your best side, and the new manager seems to know that. If you have to fight a bit more or play counter-attacking, then you do what's best.
“A lot of teams would like to play like Barcelona and have possession. But if you have possession and you lose the game finally, then it’s for nothing and I wouldn't be happy.”
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