Barcelona v Manchester United Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions

Barcelona v Manchester United match preview image

Champions League Barcelona v Manchester United

Barcelona logo Manchester United logo

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


Camp Nou

Punter's Pick

Barcelona are overwhelming favourites to win, with both sides to score and the home team to triumph looking the best value bet at 8/5, available with Bet365. Luis Suarez has failed to find the net in the Champions League so far this season, but the former Liverpool striker would like nothing better than to end that run against United – back him at 10/3 to open the scoring, again with Bet365.

Spanish and English giants go head to head again as Barcelona host Manchester United at the Camp Nou, with the visitors looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg.

Can lightning strike twice for United?

For the Red Devils, a deficit going into the second leg of the knockout stages is nothing new, and they will draw from the fact they overturned a 2-0 home loss to Paris Saint Germain in the last round with a fabulous 3-1 victory in Paris. That win was in part inspired by striking in the first few minutes and unnerving their opponents, with a jittery PSG side looking highly susceptible in defence to constant United counter attacks at pace. A similar approach will be required here, with the home team expected to enjoy the lion’s share of possession and the visitors looking to employ the pace of the likes of Marcus Rashford on the break.

United can also take inspiration from another fantastic away performance earlier in the season – a 2-1 victory over Juventus in Turin at the group stage. In that instance they were behind 1-0 until the dying stages of the game, only to strike twice in the last few minutes to snatch the win. A similar score would see the Red Devils progress, so even if they concede early in this tie they need to believe the impossible is still possible right up until the final whistle.

Barca easing to title, but vulnerable at home?

Barca warmed up for this tie with a tame 0-0 win away at bottom club Huesca, with captain and talisman Lionel Messi amongst those rested from the first leg. The draw still leaves them nine points clear at the top of table with just six games to play, so clearly they can prioritize playing their strongest starting XI almost exclusively in the Champions League.

Surprisingly for a team so far out in front in the Spanish La Liga, Barca actually only have the second best home record in the division, with Atletico Madrid leading the way. The runaway leaders have drawn three and lost one of their sixteen home fixtures so far this season, given them a win rate of 75% at home compared to Atletico’s 82%. With sixteen goals also conceded, United will be given some encouragement by these numbers, with Barca not quite as daunting a place to go to as in years gone by.
Team News

Former Barcelona striker Alexis Sanchez has been named in the United squad, the Chilean making a return from the latest in a long line of injuries. Key defensive anchorman Nemanja Matic is also fit again and may be pressed straight back into service, but fellow midfielder Ander Herrera remains out along with defender Eric Bailly. Luke Shaw will miss out through suspension after picking up another yellow card in the first leg.

For Barca, Lionel Messi will be fit to return after missing the weekend league draw at Huesca. The Argentine was rested as a precaution after picking up a facial injury in the first leg, a game which saw four players handed league debuts. Ousmane Dembele made his return in that fixture after a month out through injury, giving yet another attacking option for Barca.

End of the road for United?

Despite their stunning comeback against PSG in the last round and momentus 2-1 win away to Juventus in the group stage, this feels like it could be a bridge too far for United to mount yet another comeback. With Barca likely to dictate play and control possession for long periods, it will be a tall order for the visitors to keep them at bay and secure a crucial clean sheet. While United themselves will carry enough threat on the break to cause problems to the home defence, ultimately they may find themselves at the wrong end of the scoreline in what is likely to be an entertaining clash.

Punter's Pick

Barcelona are overwhelming favourites to win, with both sides to score and the home team to triumph looking the best value bet at 8/5, available with Bet365. Luis Suarez has failed to find the net in the Champions League so far this season, but the former Liverpool striker would like nothing better than to end that run against United – back him at 10/3 to open the scoring, again with Bet365.

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