MEMPHIS DEPAY is ready to prove his Premier League critics wrong by crushing Pep Guardiola’s Champions League dream.

The former Manchester United forward, 26, was branded a flop during a disappointing three-year spell at Old Trafford.

But he has really found his feet at European surprise packages Lyon.

Depay’s penalty in last week’s 2-1 defeat at Juventus was enough to send Cristiano Ronaldo’s Italian champions crashing out on aggregate. Now he is gunning for the blue half of Manchester in the last eight tonight.

The Dutch ace ruptured his cruciate ligament in December and used lockdown to regain full fitness.

Lyon’s Brazilian defender Marcelo told SunSport: “The break has been important for him as it gave him time to recover after a serious injury so to have him available to help us qualify was brilliant for everyone.

“He was very young when he moved from Holland to England and especially when you sign for a big club like  Manchester United, it’s difficult.

“Now he is more experienced and confident and that counts for a lot.

“He’s a great lad who always brings the group together. The experience he had at United can only benefit us now.”

Depay will lead the line against City in Lisbon aiming to make the last four of the Champions League and show former United boss Louis van Gaal was right to pay PSV  £25million for him in 2015.

Marcelo said: ‘After the break, it was difficult for us as we were just starting out again.

“It’s been a bit like pre-season, so to find the rhythm we had before everything stopped has been tough.  But we have worked hard and done it.

“Now we have the Juventus match behind us we feel much better and are in a good position to face these big European clubs.

“I still think the teams who have been  finishing their own leagues have an advantage but our mentality was to get through and that was key — it’s the same against City.

“We play and train to have the opportunity to play these kinds of games.”

Lyon bagged a brilliant win at the Etihad in September 2018 before holding Guardiola’s side 2-2 in the return group  stage clash.

And Marcelo knows with all the attacking talent on show, it is pointless trying to sit back and defend.

The 33-year-old said: “We put in a good performance in Manchester but I think playing at a neutral stadium will help us.

“In one single game, anything can happen. We know they have quality.

“But we have it too and certainly enough to win the game. We just need to believe.

“Last time we learned that if we try and defend for 90 minutes it will be impossible to win.

“We need to press and challenge them because when they are put under pressure they make lots of mistakes.

“That’s the chance we have to win. We have good offensive players who can make the difference.”

Marcelo certainly did not waste any time during lockdown.

The Brazilian added: “I am studying economics and finance and have been doing so for the last five years.

“I study a lot normally but during lockdown I did even more.

“This is a big moment personally and I am confident. But for me, even if we win the Champions League, I will keep studying. I will carry on for life.”