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

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Newcastle v Crystal Palace

Champions League: Wed, 10/04  StadiumOld Trafford

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Although United impressed in their victory over PSG the facts remain that they were outplayed at Old Trafford and had to rely on a dubious penalty claim to snatch the third goal in Paris. Barcelona are tried and tested in this competition and know how to control the tempo a lot better than PSG and therefore United will play much of the game without the ball. It is hard to look beyond a Barcelona victory and they are generously priced with Bet365 at 21/20, with Lionel Messi priced at 4/5 to score at any time with the same bookmaker.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

Manchester United face the daunting task of welcoming Barcelona to Old Trafford, with the Spanish champions many people’s pick for the title this year. However United have already shocked one of the favourites in PSG and will be vying for revenge when a Messi inspired Barcelona beat United in the final eight years ago.

After a spectacular start to life at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been brought back down to earth with recent results. Undefeated in his first 11 games in all competitions, United have now lost three out of their last four including two losses to Wolves in both the FA Cup and league. This has left them outside of the top four places and they could be required to win the trophy in order to feature in the competition next year. The Red Devils will however be inspired by their amazing reverse in Paris where they went with a two goal deficit and amazingly won 3-1, going through on the away goals rule. Romelu Lukaku netted a brace and will be hoping to use his power against the Barca backline on Wednesday.

The Catalans come in to this game on the back of a crucial 2-0 victory over their nearest La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid. Goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi helped open up an 11 point gap and this will allow them to rest key players ahead of each leg against United if they wish to do so. The Spanish Champions remain on course for an impressive treble this season having made their way to the final of the Copa Del Rey and going in to this game as favourites. United will be particularly concerned at the imperious form of Lionel Messi who leads the scorers charts in Spain with 33 goals as well as being top scorer in this seasons Champions League with 8 goals. Stopping the Argentine magician will be key to United getting anything from this fixture.

In team news United will be without Matteo Darmian, Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia and Alexis Sanchez who are all missing through injury. Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera were both carrying knocks in the defeat against Wolves but will be expected to be fit for this clash. Paul Pogba will also likely come back in to midfield having missed their previous league game due to suspension. With United looking to restrict the space Lionel Messi gets, it is likely that they will deploy Pogba, Matic and Herrera in a combative midfield. It will be interesting to see who Solskjaer opts for in attack as any frontman is likely to need to work hard and operate in isolation for much of the game. With Rashford coming back from injury, Lukaku could get the nod to use his strength to hold up the ball and physically battle the Barcelona defenders.

Barcelona don’t have any fresh injury concerns, with French winger Ousmane Dembele likely to be available for selection. This game however may come too early for him, with the manager looking to go with Busquets, Rakitic and Arthur across midfield and unleashing his fearsome threesome in Suarez, Messi and Coutinho up front. With so much of the attention focussed on how to stop Messi playing, United could take their eye off the ball when it comes to their other talented frontmen. The former Liverpool duo of Suarez and Coutinho already have a history of tormenting United and they could combine to deadly effect when so much space is opened up in trying to tackle Messi. Either way it is likely to be an entertaining watch.

Although United impressed in their victory over PSG the facts remain that they were outplayed at Old Trafford and had to rely on a dubious penalty claim to snatch the third goal in Paris. Barcelona are tried and tested in this competition and know how to control the tempo a lot better than PSG and therefore United will play much of the game without the ball. It is hard to look beyond a Barcelona victory and they are generously priced with Bet365 at 21/20, with Lionel Messi priced at 4/5 to score at any time with the same bookmaker.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

 

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