Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has made three changes to the starting line-up for the first leg of the Europa League knockout play-off against Barcelona.
The Red Devils have won their last five Europa League games but they face their toughest challenge yet with today’s visit of the Camp Nou to face the Blaugrana.
Raphael Varane has returned to the starting XI after being rested at the weekend. The Frenchman will partner Luke Shaw in central defence with Lisandro Martinez suspended.
Meanwhile, Aaron Wan-Bissaka has got the nod over Diogo Dalot in the right-back spot. The 25-year-old’s strong defensive attributes should be handy against the likes of Gavi.
Elsewhere, Ten Hag has made the no-brainer decision of reinstating Casemiro in his midfield. The Brazilian has not featured in the last two league games due to suspension.
The 30-year-old will be partnered by compatriot Fred in the centre of the park. Marcel Sabitzer’s creativity would have been ideal, but the Austrian is serving a one-game European ban.
Here is United’s starting line-up for the Europa League clash.
Man Utd line-up (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Shaw, Malacia; Casemiro, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have made two changes from their 1-0 win over Villarreal at the weekend.
They have gone with Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in goal with Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Marcos Alonso and Jordi Alba making up the four man defence.
Alonso, who has rich experience of facing the Red Devils from his Chelsea days, has been preferred in central defence ahead of another former Blues star in Andreas Christensen.
Xavi has opted for the experience of Alba over the young Alejandro Balde in the left-back spot.
Their three-man midfield will comprise of Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and Franck Kessie. Raphinha and Gavi will play either side of Robert Lewandowski, who will be the sole striker.
Barcelona line-up (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Alonso, Alba; Pedri, De Jong, Kessie; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Gavi.
United have not beaten the Blaugrana in any of the previous four meetings (all defeats) with their last victory in 2008. They are yet to taste success at the home of the Catalan side.
The Red Devils will be aiming to end the dreadful record this evening. Ten Hag may have some surprise tactic in store to outclass the Blaugrana in their home patch.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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