Barcelona ready for a blockbuster game

Barcelona ready for a blockbuster game

Barcelona now prepares for a blockbuster match against Manchester United when they meet in the Europa League. The meeting between these two football giants is the first leg of the Europa League playoffs. These two teams actually participated in the Champions League already, but this will be their first in the Europa League. In their domestic leagues, both are actually doing well, especially Barcelona. They are currently at the top of the La Liga standings, while Man United is at the third of the Premier League. These two teams meet on February 17, 2023, at 1:45 AM (GMT+8), with Barcelona playing as hosts.

These two teams have played 13 matches already, but from those 13 matches, the hosts are the ones with the advantage. They have won six of those 13 matches, while the visitors only recorded three wins. However, the hosts have lost to five of their last 11 European matches at home. The problem for the visitors lost to the last four matches against the hosts, making them wary for this match. However, they can gain confidence from the fact that they have won their last five European games. This record alone could bring them confidence coming into this match.

Barcelona

Europa League: FC Barcelona
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

With 56 points across their name, this squad tops the league table of La Liga, playing impressively domestically. During their previous match, they had a narrow 1-0 win against Villareal. As they meet a tougher opponent in this match, Barcelona is hoping to take it up a notch in this game. Considering the formidable squad Barcelona managed to build over the years, it is not surprising that they have been impressive recently. However, despite a very good squad, their number one key is their defense. It has been very reliable this season, but they still need to be at their best in this match.

The bad news for Barcelona is that they will be without their key duo, Ousmane Dembele, and Sergio Busquets because of injuries. Aside from that, there are no much changes that will happen on the side of Barcelona.

Manchester United

Europa League: Manchester United
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

This squad is currently at the third of their domestic league table, showing a huge improvement this season. They defeated Leeds United during their previous match, in a score line of 2-0. As they meet a very difficult opponent for this important match, they are hoping for the same result. Coming into this match, it is expected that this squad will show more determination in this playoff game. They are gaining confidence from the fact that they won their last five European game. Although their away games does not look good, this squad remains hopeful to turn the tables around here.

Just like their opponent, this squad also have some important unavailable members in this game. van de Beek, Eriksen, Martial, McTominay, and Anthony are all set to miss this match. Lisandro Martinez, and Marcel Sabitzer on the other hand are both suspended. Fortunately, Casemiro is now available for selection in this game.

Prediction:

Draw
Odds: 0.86

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