Barcelona host Manchester United in what will be a crucial game for both sides. The two sides,, should not be anywhere near the Europa League given both sides’ history and tradition in the game.
Manchester United sits third in the Premier League, whereas Barcelona is first in La Liga, having played a game more then Real Madrid. A Manchester United win will boost their confidence, as they are 5 points off first place Arsenal having played 2 games more.
Barcelona has done well in La Liga
Barcelona is taking the league by storm. They are 11 points clear of Real Madrid having played a game more. They have played 21 games, with a record of 18-2-1, having conceded just seven goals. The Catalans have won their last five LaLiga games .The Red Devils have been less convincing in contrast drawing and losing 2 of their last 5 Premier League games.
The most recent Premier League fixture for Manchester United ended in a 2-0 win against Leeds United at Elland Road. Following Manchester City’s victory in the other Sunday game, United remained in third place on 46 points. Leeds United looked like the better side in the first half before Man United won the game in the last 10 minutes of the second half. Late goals from Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho gave them the 2-0 win at Elland Road.
On the other hand, the most recent LaLiga fixture for Barcelona ended in a1-0 0-1 win away to Villarreal. A composed finish by Pedri on the 18th minute ensured the visitors got all three points.
Team news for Barcelona and Manchester United
Donny Van de Beek is out for the rest of the season after picking up a knee injury against Bournemouth in January. Christian Eriksen is out until April after picking an ankle injury against Reading in January. Scott McTominay is expected to be out until the end of the month while Anthony Martial is a doubt. Lisandro Martinez and Marcel Sabitzer will miss the game through suspension after picking up three yellow cards each in the group stage.
Barcelona are only missing Sergi Busquets and Ousmane Dembele through injury. The Spanish giants aren’t missing any players through suspension.
Barcelona’s potential starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde; de Jong, Kessie, Pedri; Raphinha, Gavi, Lewandowski
Manchester United’s potential starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Shaw, Malacia; Casemiro, Fred, Fernandes; Sancho, Rashford, Weghorst
It is hard to look past a Barcelona win. Manchester United has been inconsistent lately while Barcelona is the best team in LaLiga. The likes of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Wout Weghorst will struggle to break down Barcelona’s stern defense.
A defeat at the Camp Nou will be hard to come back from in the second leg at Old Trafford.
Prediction – Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United
Important Match Information
Teams: Barcelona vv Man United, Stadium: Camp Nou, Competition: Europa League, Date: Thursday 16th February, Channel: BT Sport