Manchester United vs Barcelona: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been handed a permanent contract & deservedly so after taking Manchester United out from an absolute slumber. The 3-time champions take on the Spanish club Barcelona & the first leg promises to be an absolute thriller. After beating PSG in an epic encounter the red devils have an uphill task in hand. They take on the La Liga leaders who are cruising past their opponents in the league. A place in the semi-finals is up for grabs in the grandest football league in Europe. Who’ll make it through? Can Manchester United beat the 5-time champions?
Barcelona are on a 15-game unbeaten run in all competitions & their recent 4-4 draw against Villarreal ended a 7-match winning streak. There’s nothing this Barcelona side cannot do & one man is certain to garner all the attention. The little magician Lionel Messi. The Argentine has scored 43 goals this season in 40 games & just seems to get better with every game. Barcelona have lost only 3 away games this season winning 14 & drawing 6. If Messi doesn’t score, Luis Suarez will & if Suarez doesn’t Phillipe Coutinho will. The attacking options are perpetual, to say the least. Who will go to the second leg with an advantage?
What’s your FanFight team for Manchester United vs Barcelona. Experience fantasy sports at its absolute best on FanFight- India’s finest fantasy cricket & fantasy football platform.
Fixture: Manchester United vs Barcelona 1st Leg
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester
When: 11th April, 12:30 PM IST
This quarter-final clash between Manchester United & Barcelona will be their 12th meeting in the Champions League. United have won three times while Barcelona have got the better of United on 4 occasions. Also, 4 times the game has finished on parity. However, in the last 4 meetings, United have managed to win only one. A 1-0 win at Old Trafford, in the Champions League 2008 semi-finals to send the Red Devils to the finals in Moscow. Barcelona defeated United in two Champions League finals in 2009 & 2011 respectively.
Manchester United have been given a huge boost by the inclusion of Marcus Rashford in the squad after an ankle injury kept him out in the 2-1 defeat against the Wolves. Paul Pogba will also return to the squad. Alexis Sanchez, Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian are all expected to miss out the 1st leg.
Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Herrera, Matic and Valencia are all one booking away from missing the 2nd leg at Camp Nou.
Rafinha has been ruled out for this fixture. Arturo Vidal missed the 2-0 triumph over Atletico Madrid & will compete against Arthur for a position in the midfield.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI FOR MANCHESTER UNITED vs BARCELONA
David De Gea(gk), Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Ashley Young Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen(gk), Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Ivan, Rakitic, Arthur/Arturo Vidal Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Coutinho
Manchester United have never lost a home European match against Barcelona. They’ve won 2 & have drawn 2.
Lionel Messi has scored 22 goals in 30 previous appearances against English clubs. The most he’s netted against teams from a single country other than Spain.
Since Chelsea eliminated Barcelona in the 2011-12 semi-final, English teams have been eliminated in 10 of their last 11 Champions League knockout ties against Spanish sides . The only exception was Leicester City against Sevilla in the last 16 in 2016-17.
This is the first Champions League meeting between Barcelona and Manchester United since the 2011 final, which Barcelona won 3-1 at Wembley.
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