Manchester United vs Barcelona Preview

Manchester United look to secure qualification to the Europa League RO16 with a delicately poised tie with Barcelona. Manchester United drew at the Spotify Nou Camp with yet another Rashford-inspired performance and need to beat the Catalan giants on Thursday to move to the next round. Barcelona demonstrated their weaknesses against United and will be sorely missing Busquets, Dembele and now Pedri and Gavi as well. It is a big chance for United to continue their good run whilst also fighting on four fronts for silverware. Here’s all you need to know:

Match Information:

Teams: Manchester United and Barcelona
Date: Thursday 23rd February 2023
KO Time: 20:00 GMT
Location: Old Trafford
Managers: Erik ten Hag and Xavi Hernandez
Referee: Clement Turpin

Manchester United Team News vs Barcelona

Casemiro returned to United’s starting XI at the Nou Camp and is likely to start again tomorrow having served his suspension domestically. Sabitzer and Martinez have served their European suspensions and could return to the lineup after impressive performances against Leicester.

Harry Maguire and Antony both missed the home game against Leicester but Erik ten Hag confirmed they were available for selection while also ruling out Anthony Martial who is training but not match-fit. Scott McTominay also returned from injury and impressed against Leicester and is likely to continue on the bench. Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen remain injured.

Interesting Facts:

  • The last two times Manchester United drew away in Spain in their first KO leg, they have lost the home leg. 0-1 to Atletico Madrid and 1-2 to Sevilla.
  • Bruno Fernandes has 50 G/A in 61 games in European competitions for Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United but is yet to score in this season’s campaign.
  • The last time Manchester United beat Barcelona at home, they went on to win the competition in 2008.

Predicted XI:

Manchester United should start as strong as possible for this game. Shaw and Wan-Bissaka should flank Varane and Martinez at the back with de Gea continuing in goal. Casemiro will start along with Sabitzer for the first time this season with a fluid front four ahead of them. Bruno Fernandes will of course play along with Rashford and Weghorst and I would expect Sancho to start unless Antony is ready to play from the beginning. But Sancho should have a lot of confidence after a stunning display on Sunday.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Sabitzer; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst

Predicted Score:

I would be over confident to expect United to win effortlessly but I think they have a great chance. They demonstrated how they could hurt Barcelona and I don’t think they will fail to do so. But I anticipate it will be a tough win if they manage it.

United to win 1-0

Author: Arjun Handa

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