United face the sternest test in their first UCL quarter final since 2014
Last updated: April 9, 2019 by Leon Marshal
|Last Meeting:||Barcelona 3 – 1 Man Utd|
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s Manchester United host many peoples’ favourites for the tournament, Barcelona, on Wednesday, in the Red Devil’s first UCL quarter final since the 2013/14 season.
The buzz around Old Trafford after Solksjaer’s appointment has settled down somewhat, while United’s results have fallen too. Two defeats in their last three league games has meant that United have dropped out of the top four for the time being. But these special European nights have little to do with recent or domestic form, and United have qualified for this match in the most dramatic and dreamlike of fashions, after a last minute penalty away to PSG saw them defy the odds in the last round.
Solksjaer has welcomed back a number of players from injury in recent weeks after being forced to string together a team of almost second-team players against PSG. Paul Pogba will also return from suspension, and his performance will be key if United are to succeed. Upfront, there are still lingering questions about the fitness of Marcus Rashford. He seems Solksjaer’s preferred striker, but the Norwegian has played him together with Lukaku before. Whether to do so again is the question, with Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial both strong contenders for the wing positions.
Unlike United, Barcelona had a perfect preparation for this match after beating Atletico Madrid at the weekend. That put them 11 points clear at the top of La Liga and sure to be title winners. The Catalans are in great form, and talisman Lionel Messi is leading the charge. But Barca haven’t had it all their own way in the competition so far. Both Spurs and Inter held them to a draw in the group stages, while Lyon also earned a 0-0 home draw in the last-16 match. Nevertheless, Barca are favourites to make it through to the semi finals and are also big favourites with the bookies to win here.
Paul Pogba is available again after missing the last UCL match due to suspension.
Solksjaer has the question of whether to start Rashford or Lukaku, or both.
Barcelona have an almost full squad to choose from, with a few players serving recent suspensions.
Lionel Messi is the top scorer in the UCL this season with 8 goals. He could easily add to his total here.
|Man Utd (4-3-3):||De Gea, Shaw, Lindelöf, Smalling, Young, Matic, Pogba, Fred, Lingard, Rashford, Martial|
|Subs:||Romero, Dalot, Bailly, Jones, Mata, McTominay, Lukaku|
|Injured:||Herrera, Sanchez, Valencia, Darmian|
|Barcelona (4-3-3):||ter Stegen, Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Melo, Messi, Suarez, Coutinho|
|Subs:||Nélson Semedo, Cillessen, Malcolm, Murillo, Boateng, Alena, Umtiti|
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|28/05/2011||UCL||Barcelona 3 – 1 Man Utd||Pedro 27′|
|27/04/2009||UCL||Barcelona 2 – 0 Man Utd||Eto’o 10′|
|29/04/2008||UCL||Man Utd 1 – 0 Barcelona||Paul Scholes 14′|
|23/04/2008||UCL||Barcelona 0 – 0 Man Utd||—|
|25/11/1998||UCL||Barcelona 3 – 3 Man Utd||Anderson 1′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Manchester United will have the confidence to win from their victory against PSG, with the UCL perhaps being a nice break from the EPL, where things have gotten tougher for them recently.
However, they face here a team far less naive than PSG. United will also be mindful of the fact that it was at home where they were outplayed and turned over by PSG. It will take a similar miracle and Herculian effort from United to make it through, but we think they will meet their end here, despite the effort. With that in mind, we fancy a slim victory for Barcelona, which you can get at Betway.