Barcelona v Manchester Utd – Betting Preview
Barcelona’s spirits and confidence on the pitch are excellent. They understand and respect Manchester United, but know a win in the home leg is a must to qualify.
The Catalan giants are pulling away in the Spanish title race and with the weekend win over Villarreal, they feel that was one big hurdle closer to lifting the trophy.
Team news is not great for Barcelona, but their absentee list is notably more positive than the English visitor.
Barcelona remains without Dembele and the veteran Busquets, both notable regulars but with the form of Raphinia and Kessie (their replacements) on the rise, not perhaps as significant as at first glance despite their fame.
Kessie gets the nod in an attacking role in the central three in midfield, with De Jong playing the holding role.
The Busquets absence forces them to be more open and the defence less protected, which probably will be more exposed by a speedy attack like United has, much stronger than all but Real Madrid in La Liga.
Manchester United Summary
Manchester United travel to Spain in an excellent mood and very much on an upward curve this season.
They see the Europa League as another chance to win important silverware this season. Until now they have sent out weaker sides, but knowing the quality of this opponent, they will now treat this competition with more respect.
Manchester United are the only English team fighting on four fronts as they have a date with Newcastle in the league cup final next month, as well as being one of the favourites for the FA Cup too.
Manchester comes into the game with several important absences including Eriksen, Antony, and Martial, all of which would likely be starting in their best side. With these absences they are a weaker side offensively speaking, and also missing creativity.
The only positive news for the English side is that Casemiro is back from a domestic suspension and he will be fresh to face Barcelona. The Brazilian is a fundamental part of the team and has been key to their turnaround under Ten Hag.
Also missing is McTominay, not a standout player but without him as well as Eriksen, it means Fred will begin in Camp Nou.
Looking at the 1×2 market first. The favourite for the game is runaway Spanish league leaders Barcelona @ 1.76 to win, which looks too short in my view. Manchester United is not respected much @ 4.45, while the draw is @ 3.80.
Moving onto the Asian handicap betting for this contest. Barcelona -0.75 @ 2.01 looks very unappealing considering the Spanish would need to win by 2 goals for a clear win. Man Utd +0.75 is @ 1.85.
Looking at The Under/Over goal line last of all which looks correct. The line rose from 2.5 to 2.75 @ 2.00. The punters are anticipating a game with goals. Barcelona will have respect for United and be content to win 1-0, a result they have mastered domestically this season. A clean sheet will not be as easy here as the ones racked up in La Liga. This as Barcelona isn’t used to facing a player like Marcus Rashford, who will cause them problems with their high line.