Barcelona vs Manchester United Prediction, Tips & Stats

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Manchester United

Grant McQuillan

Europa League Tips



Barcelona vs Manchester United Prediction, Tips & Stats

Europa League ties have never really got much bigger than this down the years as the five-time Champions League winners meet with the three-time champions of Europe as Manchester United travel to Barcelona.

United have had some memorable nights at the Camp Nou and even conquered Europe in 1999 in that game against Bayern Munich. They've also met here with Barcelona many times down the years in the Champions League, but for the first time ever, the two heavyweights of world football slug it out at an early kick off time of 17:45 in the Europa League play-offs first leg. The kick off also marks the first-ever play-off battle in the competition, with the loser over the two ties set to crash out of the competition.

United and Barcelona have faced each other 13 times, but it is the Catalona club who head into this one with six times that include two wins in Champions League finals across a three-year period of battles between Pep Guardiola and Sir Alex Ferguson. The two managers faced off in the 2008 Champions League semi-finals and the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals, as Barcelona beat them at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome and Wembley.

Despite being in the Europa League for the first time since its rebranding in 2009, Barcelona are coming into this one completely revitalised under Xavi in Spain. The Barca legend has brought some of the tika-taka flair that he mastered in the centre of the club's tactics for so many years, and they now sit in first and ahead of Real Madrid in second by nine points.

They met with Villarreal on Sunday night, as Pedri scored in the first half of a 1-0 away win. Stunningly, this has given Barcelona their 14th clean sheet in just 21 games this La Liga season, conceding an incredible seven goals in this time as well. In fact, with just two draws, one loss and 18 wins in the league, if Xavi can keep up this record, he will surpass any points tally in his record-breaking days as a player at the club.

United are also back in the win column and comfortably in third now after beating Leeds United 2-0 thanks to a 13th goal in 15 games for Marcus Rashford and another from Alejandro Garnacho.

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Barcelona team news

Robert Lewandowski may miss out here, but with such a healthy lead in La Liga, Xavi can afford to rest players domestically for this huge game.

Man United team news

Erik ten Hag clearly had one eye on this game on Sunday, as he rested Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane. The Argentine got minutes in the end, but his partnership with Varane should continue here with Luke Shaw at left-back. Casemiro will play as well, as he is still suspended domestically.

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