Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Champions League - Barcelona vs Manchester United (Agg 1-0)


As two of the biggest teams in the world, it should shock absolutely nobody that Barcelona and Manchester City are in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League. After a dour win at Old Trafford in the first leg, can Barcelona make the most of their growing advantage and put the Red Devils to the sword in Barcelona?

Barcelona News


The only missing party for the home side is going to be that of Rafinha. The talented Brazilian will sit this one out, having suffered an injury again. However, the return of Ousmane Dembele is timely: he’s likely to take a starting berth ahead of Philippe Coutinho. This match-up should be an interesting one, with Dembele likely running at either Ashley Young or Antonio Valencia.

Sergi Roberto or Arturo Vidal are likely to be fit enough to return to the midfield, a well, in what should give them some extra energy to compete against the English outfit.

Manchester United News


United, meanwhile, are missing a fair few of their main players. For one, Antonio Valencia might not make it; the same goes for Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic. Luke Shaw is out for sure, as is Ander Herrera. Shaw is suspended.

This will likely mean a start for both Matteo Darmian and Diogo Dalot, with the latter likely playing in the midfield. Scott McTominay will play again, as will Marcus Rashford. Expect Jesse Lingard to start ahead of Juan Mata, who is being linked with a move to Barcelona.

United are short in numbers, which could mean that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to get pretty creative with his line-up.

Verdict


Barcelona to go through. United have grit in abundance, but performances recently have been poor. Barcelona are unlikely to fall to pieces as they did last year against AS Roma, or as Paris Saint-Germain did in the last sixteen.

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