Barcelona vs Man Utd XI: Predicted Lineups and team news for UEFA Europa League

Barcelona and Manchester United met twice in Champions League finals in the space of three years just over a decade ago, back when both were among the very best in Europe.

This week, their encounter will be slightly different as they go head to head in the Europa League knockout round play-offs.

Both clubs have significantly fallen from their former peaks. Yet each appears to have come through the worst of their respective issues and instead this is now two promising teams on the up.

Even though it is in UEFA’s secondary competition, this could actually be the pick of the games anywhere in Europe this week.

Barcelona team news

Sergio Busquets, who is Barcelona’s only survivor from their 2009 and 2011 Champions League final wins over United, could return from injury in time for the second leg but not here.

Ousmane Dembele is also out for this one and could be missing until March.

Man Utd team news

United fans will be relieved to see the return of Casemiro, who is well accustomed to facing Barcelona after years at Real Madrid. The Brazilian enforcer has been serving a suspension in the Premier League that doesn’t apply to European competition.

There is likely to be a European debut in United colours for January arrivals Wout Weghorst. But Marcel Sabitzer is carrying a suspension, as it Lisandro Martinez. Anthony Martial, Antony and Scott McTominay are expected to remain sidelined with longer-term absentees Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek.

Man Utd starting 11 (4-2-3-1): 

De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst.

Barcelona starting 11 (4-3-3):

 Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Alba; De Jong, Kessie, Pedri; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Gavi.

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