Barcelona vs Man United Europa League

Barcelona’s Brazilian forward Raphael Dias Belloli, aka Raphinha looks on during a press conference on the eve of their UEFA Europa League play-offs football match against Manchester United at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, on February 15, 2023. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

Barcelona vs Man United: Europa League match preview

Barcelona vs Man United is one of the glitziest Europa League ties ever. Here is a full preview of what should be a titanic clash.

Barcelona vs Man United Europa League

Barcelona’s Brazilian forward Raphael Dias Belloli, aka Raphinha looks on during a press conference on the eve of their UEFA Europa League play-offs football match against Manchester United at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, on February 15, 2023. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

The standout tie of this season’s Europa League play-off round sees Barcelona take on Man Utd at Camp Nou. Both are on course for a Champions League return next season, but right now the priority will be going all the way in this competition.

Here’s a preview of the action.

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Barcelona vs Man United: Head-to-head

These European super-clubs clubs have met 13 times, with the last 10 all coming in the Champions League, most notably in the finals in 2009 and 2011. Barça have won each of the last 4 meetings; the last side Man Utd lost 5 consecutive matches against was Liverpool between 2000 and 2002.


Form guide

Barça are flying in LaLiga, 11 points clear of Real Madrid at the summit. Xavi’s team have won six LaLiga games on the trot in 2023, conceding just once in the league all year to date. In 21 league matches all season, they’ve only shipped seven goals. They look almost impregnable.

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United have clawed themselves back into the EPL title race mainly owing to their scintillating form at Old Trafford. Ahead of Arsenal and Man City’s midweek match, they’re just two points adrift of second-placed City. They dropped points in a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace and then lost away to Arsenal, but have steadied the ship with two consecutive wins on the road since across all competitions, both accompanied by clean sheets.

barcelona vs Man United europa league
A moody Old Trafford scene. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Team news and men to watch

In-form Frenkie De Jong will anchor Xavi’s Barca midfield alongside 20-year-old sensation Pedri. Ex-Leeds man Raphinha will start on the right-hand side for Barca seeing as though Ousmane Dembele is injured. United midfield general Casemiro is serving a domestic suspension but he’s available here and that’s a huge boost for Erik ten Hag. He should slot right back into the side to partner Fred or loanee Marcel Sabitzer at the base. Christian Eriksen, Antony, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay are all ruled out for the visitors. Jadon Sancho is back though, and that’s a massive boost for the Red Devils.

Rashford Man United Europa League
Rashford scores the winner in the Manchester Derby. Image: @marcusrashford/ Twitter

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Kickoff on Thursday night is at 19:45 SA time. To the winner over the two legs: a place in the Europa League last 16. Can’t wait.


Also, for more insights, analysis and love for the beautiful game, hit up James Freemantle.

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