Manchester United - Barcelona prediction and analysis
Manchester United and Barcelona played out a classic 2-2 draw at Camp Nou in the Europa League a week ago.
And now more of the same is expected in the second leg at Old Trafford.
Barca enjoyed 57% of the ball in Spain.
But despite this, each team had 18 attempts at goal in a game that had intrigue until the final whistle.
As for today's match, I think the Red Devils should have more possession in their stadium.
Man United are unbeaten since September at Old Trafford, winning 14 of their last 15 games in all competitions.
In most of these matches, the hosts demonstrated high efficiency in attack. And I expect them to score at least 2 goals today.
And Barca's solid defense has shown it can be destabilized when faced with speedy forwards.
How undisputed is the genius of Man United - Marcus Rashford.
After the World Cup, Rashford scored 16 goals in 17 games. Including scoring in nine of 11 home games.
I predict that Barcelona will also score a goal.
As the Catalans have scored at least once in their previous 18 matches in all competitions.
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Manchester United and Barcelona played a crazy game
In the first match between the two teams played last week, Man Yun fell behind after Marcos Alonso's header.
But the red-hot Marcus Rashford equalised. And then he played a big part in Jules Kunde's own goal.
Barca hit back when Rafinha scored a wonder goal from an attempted cross to seal a 2-2 draw in a thrilling match.
Eric ten Haag said:
"I think it was a great game between two attacking teams.
I think it was a Champions League game, even more than that. So I really enjoyed the meeting.”
Manchester United and Rashford are in a whirlwind
Marcus Rashford's pace troubled the Barca defense all evening.
And he followed it up with a brace in Sunday's 3-0 Premier League win against Leicester at Old Trafford.
This win left them in contention for the Premier League title.
And next weekend they have a League Cup final against Newcastle.
Man United is a subscriber of Barcelona
Barcelona obviously deserve respect.
The team has an excellent record against Man United, beating them in the Champions League finals in 2009 and 2011.
And winning on their last visit here in 2019.
Barcelona is weak in Europe but strong in Spain
The Catalan giants, however, have been poor in Europe's elite club competition this season.
Remaining 3rd in their Champions League group.
But the Blaugrana are currently eight points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.
A 2-0 win at home to Cadiz on Sunday extended their run to seven straight wins in this division.
Plus, they beat Real Madrid 3-1 in the Spanish Super Cup final last month.
Manchester United "unmasked" Barcelona
It's hard to forget how easily Manchester United opened up Barca's defense at Camp Nou, though.
Manager Ten Haag felt his side created up to seven "100 per cent chances".
And he couldn't believe Kunde avoided a red card for bringing down Rashford.
Good news for Man Yun, bad for Barca
Three key Man United players who missed the first leg through suspension are back for the second leg.
These are Lisandro Martinez, Marcel Sabitzer and Casemiro.
And while the news in the Red Devils camp is mostly good, it is rather bad in Barcelona.
Because Gavi will be out due to accumulation of yellow cards.
And Pedri suffered a hamstring injury in the first game and will also miss the second leg.
Squads and injured footballers
Lineup: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Sabitzer; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst
Injured: Eriksen, Van de Beek
Questionable: Martial, Maguire, Anthony
Lineup: Ter Stegen; Kunde, Araujo, Alonso, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Kessey; Rafinha, Lewandowski, Fati
Injured: Pedri, Dembele
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