Thursday, February 9, 2023

Barcelona Vs Manchester United Preview: Talking Tactics, Team News, Key Men And Odds

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

Barcelona will entertain Manchester United at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night hoping to get the job done after claiming a 1-0 win in the first leg at Old Trafford last week. The Catalans will fancy their chances of getting a positive result as long as they don’t get complacent on the pitch.

However, the Reds of Manchester won’t give up without a proper fight especially after their incredible second leg comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round. 

Talking Tactics

The Catalans will lineup in a 4-3-3 formation with Messi set to begin the match on the right flank. The Argentine superstar will be up against Ashley Young who will play as a makeshift left-back for Man United. Valverde could look to exploit the mismatch on that side while Suarez attempts to get his name on the scoresheet while operating as a centre-forward.

Solskjaer is expected to opt for the same formation as Barca so that the Red Devils can stay in the game during the early stages of the encounter. The visitors will have enough firepower up top to score a few away goals with Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku set to make up the Man United frontline in the opposing half.

Team News

Barcelona

Ernesto Valverde has no fresh injury concerns ahead of this clash. He was able to rest most of his first-team stars against Huesca last weekend so the home side should be well rested for this European encounter at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona Predicted XI:  Marc Andre ter Stegen; Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Ivan Rakitic, Arthur Melo; Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez

Manchester United

Luke Shaw won’t be available for selection after picking up a yellow card in the first-leg. Hence, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might be inclined to start Ashley Young at left-back. The Norwegian head coach will also have to decide whether to start Romelu Lukaku or Anthony Martial in the opposition half.

Manchester United Predicted XI: David De Gea; Diogo Dalot, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Ashley Young; Scott McTominay, Fred, Paul Pogba; Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard

Key Men

Barcelona

Messi is once again expected to be at the heart of every Barca move going forward. Suarez also needs to be at his best if he wants to help his team get the job done versus the Red Devils in midweek. The centre-back pair of Pique and Lenglet put in a solid display at Old Trafford last week, so they would need to keep up the same level of performance this week.

Manchester United

Both Rashford and Pogba will be responsible for causing a few problems for the Barca defenders on the counter. The defensive duo of Smalling and Lindelof needs to find a way to cope with the threat of the Barca attackers in their own half.

Odds

Barcelona win – 4/11

Draw – 9/2

Manchester United win – 37/5

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