The Blaugrana and the Red Devils, two European giants, will compete in the second leg of the playoff at Old Trafford on Thursday.
A blockbuster encounter between two European juggernauts takes place at Old Trafford on Friday night as Barcelona face Manchester United in the second leg of their Europa League playoff. Barcelona will be looking to extend their unbeaten streak to 19 matches when they face the red devils. The first leg at Camp Nou proved to be one of the games of the season, Barcelona initially going ahead shortly after halftime before eventually requiring a late equaliser to make it 2-2 on aggregate. Xavi’s team warmed up for this contest with a 2-0 victory over Cadiz on Sunday, a result which re-established their eight-point lead at the top of the LaLiga standings.
Manchester United will be looking to progress through to the Europa League‘s last 16, Erik ten Hag’s team head into this contest having overcome a slow start versus Leicester City on Sunday to ultimately prevail by a 3-0 scoreline at Old Trafford.
Thursday, 23-02-2023; 8:00 PM(GMT)
Friday, 24-02-2023;1:30 AM (IST)
Barcelona Form (All Competitions): W-W-W-D-W
Manchester United Form (All Competitions): W-D-W-D-W
Players to Watch
Raphinha’s versatility means that he can play on either wing but also operate in the number 10 role if required. He has stupendous close control, dribbling ability and agility, Even though he is heavily left-footed, he is not afraid of going down the line on his right foot, making him even harder to defend against. Not only is he an excellent playmaker, but he is also calm and composed in front of the goal. His goalscoring threat is not limited to inside the box, as he can also shoot from outside as well. He was the best player on the pitch for Barcelona in the first leg.
Manchester United: Luke Shaw
Firstly, he’s become an excellent ball carrier, constantly pushing United up the pitch with powerful, driving runs from deep performing the modern role of an inverted full-back, off-the-ball runs and over/underlaps the left-winger more often than ever before, he also does so with a lot of intensity. He is generally good at blocking space and is intelligent at knowing when to commit to a challenge. His performance in the absence of Lisandro Martinez was outstanding as a centre-back.
- Marcus Rashford has averaged a goal in every 76 minutes for United in the UEFA Europa League this season.
- United have only lost two of their last 11 European games at Old Trafford.
- Robert Lewandoski has scored 38 goals in 32 appearances in major European Competitions.
Also Read: Where and how to watch Barcelona vs Man United second leg in India, UK, USA and Nigeria?
Team and Injury News
Barcelona was dealt a setback when crucial midfielder Pedri was hurt during the first period of their 2-2 draw with Manchester United in the Europa League at Camp Nou. Pedri was able to leave the field on his own, but after examinations revealed the severity of the injury, he now faces a protracted period of time out injured. Barcelona has already lost Ousmane Dembele to injuries, and now another important player has left the team. Gavi was also booked in the first leg and will miss the second leg. Xavi has confirmed that midfielder Sergio Busquets will be fit enough to face Manchester United in the second leg of their Europa League knockout play-off tie.
As for Man United, Donny van de Beek (knee), Christian Eriksen (ankle), and Anthony Martial (hip) will all miss out through injury.
“There’s still a training to go but I expect Harry Maguire and Antony dos Santos [to be] available,” the manager told reporters. “Anthony Martial is not available. “He’s back on the pitch but not in the team training, so we’ll wait for that.”
Lisandro Martinez will be able to play in the second leg as he was suspended in the first leg.
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Manchester United : 3
Barcelona predicted lineup(4-3-3):
Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde; Roberto , De Jong, Kessie; Raphinha, Lewandowski,Torres
Manchester United predicted lineup(4-2-3-1):
De Gea; Dalot. Martinez, Varane, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst
The game between two European giants is expected to be a classic. Although Man United will start out as the favourite, Barcelona’s quality should not be undervalued. Statistics somewhat favour the Red Devils. While the Blaugurunas have struggled defensively recently and will be without several key players in the second leg, Man United’s recent offence and defence have been above average.
Prediction: Barcelona 0-2 Man United
India: Sony Liv, Sony Sports network, Jio TV
UK: BT Sport
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