Barcelona vs Manchester United. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more
FC Barcelona will host Manchester United FC in the UEFA Europa League 1/16 match at Spotify Camp Nou Stadium. The fixture will take place on Thursday, February 16, beginning at 23:15 IST.
In the world of football, dominance is fleeting, and the balance of power is in a constant state of flux. Even the most storied clubs can face unexpected setbacks, as the competition only gets fiercer with time. So it goes for these two former UCL titans, who now find themselves locked in a gripping battle in the Europa League’s Round of 32.
While the Blaugrana stumbled in the UEFA Champions League, the Red Devils fought tooth and nail in the Europa League group stage to secure a spot in the play-offs, finishing second in their group. Now, they’ll face off against the mighty Barcelona in the first leg at the hallowed Camp Nou.
Will Xavi’s tactical genius prove too much for Manchester United, or will ten Hag’s cunning game plan take the Red Devils to the top? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for certain – this is a match you won’t want to miss!
What can we expect this Thursday night? Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
FC Barcelona News & Current Form:
In La Liga, Xavi’s team is doing very well: the Catalans are leading in the standings, with a solid lead from second place of 11 points, in 21 matches Barcelona have 18 wins, two draws and a defeat. The last time Barcelona lost was to FC Bayern Munich last October in the UEFA Champions League. The goal difference between goals scored and conceded is 43:7. In addition, the Catalans are scoring more than anyone else in the Spanish championship. The championship race continues, but it will be difficult for the competitors.
After losing 3-0 to Bayern in their penultimate group game in October – the only loss at the Camp Nou in 14 games this season – Xavi’s side have thrived on the domestic front, building a 16-match unbeaten run in all competitions, including nine victories in their last 10 La Liga games – the latest success being a 0-1 victory over Villarreal CF. Pedri scored the only goal and Robert Lewandowski assisted.
It is worth mentioning Robert Lewandowski. He is, perhaps, the main star, who has gained excellent physical form for this match. The performances during the season prove it. In 18 matches, the forward has scored 14 goals and given five assists. At the moment he is the top scorer of the Primera, ahead of the nearest pursuer by three goals.
In the group stage of the Champions League, Barcelona has two wins. The Striped ones beat FC Viktoria Plzen twice, the team which eventually finished in last place. Against Bayern Munich, the Bluegranates suffered a 0-3 home defeat and a 0-2 away defeat. In their games against Inter, Xavi’s charges took one point. A 3-3 home draw and a 0-1 away defeat. As a result, third place in the quartet.
Since the dawn of the Pep Guardiola era, Barca have dealt Manchester United a painful blow, beating them twice in the Champions League final. Later, the English club was once again eliminated from the playoffs of that tournament, being weaker than the Catalans. So Barcelona has the advantage over MU in official matches.
Barcelona soccer player Ansu Fati could continue his career in the English Premier League. Liverpool FC, Arsenal FC and Manchester United are interested in the services of the 20-year-old Spaniard. The Spanish team values their young star at €100m. The 20-year-old has tallied three goals and three assists in 20 La Liga games this season.
FC Barcelona won the Spanish Super Cup recently.
Barcelona will be without key players: winger Ousmane Dembele and captain Sergio Busquets, who will miss both Europa League playoff matches because of hamstring and ankle injuries. But even without them, Barcelona have many stars in their squad capable of replacing those who are out of action. In Dembele’s absence, Gavi, Ferran Torres or Ansu Fati could be used on the left wing, joining Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha in the attacking three.
Manchester United News & Current Form:
The Red Devils did not experience serious difficulties in the group stage of the Europa League. Winning five games in a row, they scored 10 goals in six rounds. The English were defeated only in the first round by Spanish Real Sociedad FC 0-1. Fortunately then managed to return to form, but the team still had to settle for second place, losing to Group E winners Sociedad on goal difference, and, consequently, to participate in the round of 1/16 finals instead of 1/8.
Since the sensational departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to the Saudi Arabian club, MU have won 12 of their 15 matches and lost only one. It seems the Portuguese star really hasn’t been indispensable. Erik ten Hague’s team is currently in third place in the English Premier League. The difference of two points from Manchester City FC and five points from Arsenal indicates the good form of the Mancunians.
In the last round of the EPL, Manchester United took on Leeds United FC (0-2). Marcus Rashford scored the closing goal in the 80th minute and Alejandro Garnacho in the 85th minute.
Marcus has not yet returned to his old form, but this season he has scored 12 goals and given three assists. With a good performance the English forward has the opportunity to grab the Europa League title of top scorer. We should expect him to make a significant contribution to the result of the upcoming game. It is extremely important for Erik ten Hag, because his team also suffers losses.
“Marcus Rashford is one of the most dangerous forwards in Europe. He’s quick, he can beat defenders one-on-one, and we’ll be watching him closely. He’s one of the best in Europe, there’s no doubt about that”,said Spanish coach Xavi about the player.
Manchester United have five players in the infirmary. Donny van de Beek with a knee injury, Anthony Martial with a thigh injury, Scott McTominay with a muscle problem and Anthony Santos with a leg injury. But the main loss is Christian Eriksen. The Dane will not return until April because of an ankle injury.
Lissandro Martinez and Marcel Sabitzer are suspended. However, Casemiro is available for selection after missing the last two Premier League games due to disqualification.
In such a scenario, we should not expect the visitors to win. The hosts look much more preferable.
FC Barcelona form guide: W-W-W-W-W-W
Manchester United form guide: W-W-W-W-D-W
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FC Barcelona vs Manchester United Head-To-Head Record:
|FC Barcelona||Draw||Manchester United|
- April 23, 2008: Barcelona 0 – 0 Manchester United (UEFA Champions League);
- April 29, 2008: Manchester United 1 – 0 Barcelona (UEFA Champions League);
- May 27, 2009: Barcelona 2 – 0 Manchester United (UEFA Champions League);
- May 28, 2011: Barcelona 3 – 1 Manchester United (UEFA Champions League);
- April 10, 2019: Manchester United 0 – 1 Barcelona (UEFA Champions League);
- April 16, 2019: Barcelona 3 – 0 Manchester United (UEFA Champions League).
FC Barcelona vs Manchester United Predicted XI:
FC Barcelona’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Alba; Pedri, De Jong, Kessie; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Gavi.
Manchester United’s possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Shaw, Malacia; Casemiro, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst.
Statistical preview of the match FC Barcelona vs Manchester United:
- Barcelona’s First XI average age is 25.2 yrs.
- MU’s First XI average age is 28.4 yrs.
- Barcelona have won their last 9 matches.
- Manchester United are without a loss in 9 of their last 11 matches.
- Barcelona won their last 3 head-to-head games against this opponent.
- Manchester United are conceding an average of 0.80 goals per game in their last 5 games.
- Manchester United are scoring in their last 16 games.
- Manchester United conceded in 5 of the last 7 games.
- Manchester United are scoring an average of 2.20 goals per game in their last 5 games.
- Barcelona conceded an average of 0.20 goals per game in the last 5 games.
- Barcelona scored in the last 4 games against this opponent.
- Barcelona did not concede in your last 3 games against this opponent.
- Barcelona scored in their last 14 games.
- Barcelona did not concede in 7 of the last 9 games.
- Barcelona are scoring an average of 1.60 goals per game in their last 5 games.
- In 12 games in a row, Barcelona have scored first.
- In the last 7 games Manchester United scored in the second half.
What has been said before the match:
Coach Xavi about the upcoming Europa League fixture with MU:
“Tomorrow is a great match. It’s a spectacular tie. Both teams arrived at the best moment of the season. Ten Hag has changed the face of the team. It’s been hard for them, but they’re doing a great job. I expect a game with a lot of intensity and rhythm. It’s Europe and we want to show that we can compete against a top-level European rival.”
“I don’t think we are favorites. There are very good teams in this competition, it’s a very tough competition.”
“United is a great club. They are not in the best moment in their history, but there are players who are in a great moment. In recent weeks they have been good and it will be very hard to win the game. We want to show that we are at a high level and that we all work hard and are aggressive. Tomorrow is an important test to compete in Europe.”
Erik ten Hag ahead of Thursday game:
“I think Barcelona and us as well would have preferred to play this match in the final. We are looking forward to it, it takes a lot of energy searching for that finish, and it will be a great game.”
“Hopefully, everyone is fit for Barcelona and for us. So, we see a game that will be played at the highest level. As a player, I admire Barcelona’s manager, Xavi. Barcelona, the way they played with him: he was such an important part of the team.”
“You can see the philosophy he now brings to Barcelona. I really like his team, the attacking way of play. I think he is heading in the right direction. I think it’s going to be a good challenge between Manchester United and Barcelona.”
FC Barcelona vs Manchester United Prediction:
Both teams are in fantastic form heading into their upcoming clash on Thursday. Barcelona have reason to be confidently optimistic with an impressive 16-match unbeaten streak and outstanding defensive record, having only conceded 7 goals in 21 La Liga games, making them Europe’s best defense. However, they will face a test against Man United, who, despite having several injured players, have recently found their winning form once again. Under ten Hag’s leadership, the visitors have secured 5 wins in their last 6 matches across all tournaments, with only one defeat in their last 15 games.
It remains to be seen whether the match at Camp Nou will be a defensive-minded or open affair, but one thing is for certain: there will be goals, albeit not too many. Statistical trends suggest that Manchester United produce a season-high of 1.88 goals per game, while Barcelona average 2.22 goals per 90’. The Catalan giants have only failed to score in four of their 31 matches across all competitions, whereas the Red Devils have only left the pitch without finding the back of the net three times in their 35 games. In fact, United have scored at least two goals in 10 of their last 11 games, with the previous goalless encounter dating back to October 16, while for Blaugranas’ such a case occurred on October 26.
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Parimatch News staff prediction:
We say: Barcelona will not lose and the match total will be less than 3 – Yes.