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Erik ten Hag could drop three Man Utd stars for Barcelona clash

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag could make three key changes when the Red Devils take on Barcelona in the first leg of the Europa League knock-out play-off.

The Red Devils travel to the Camp Nou for the opening leg on Thursday evening and we expect Ten Hag to make multiple changes with some key players returning to the fray.

Raphael Varane was handed a breather in the 2-0 Premier League win over Leeds United yesterday. The Frenchman should return to the XI in midweek in place of Harry Maguire.

Maguire was unconvincing with his defensive display against the Whites. He is likely to be axed from the line-up. Varane should partner Luke Shaw in central defence with Lisandro Martinez suspended.

Fred had a superb midfield performance against Leeds, winning a stunning 10 tackles. Despite this, he may drop to the bench with Casemiro likely to be reinstated in the number six role.

Casemiro has been serving his league suspension over the last two games, but should return to the line-up on Thursday, given his rich experience of facing Barcelona from his Real Madrid days.

Casemiro and Fred have played together on several occasions this term, but we are fancying Marcel Sabitzer to get the nod alongside the former due to his better creativity in the final third.

In attack, Wout Weghorst could be dropped on the back of another below-par performance.

Weghorst was largely ineffective from the centre-forward role on Sunday and only came into the game after playing in the second striker position behind Marcus Rashford towards the end.

The Dutchman bagged himself an assist for Alejandro Garnacho’s splendid goal, but he could make way to the bench. In our view, Garnacho could start on the left side of the attack.

Rashford has scored a headed goal in each of the last two games after moving into a central position. The England star should be backed to lead the attack against the Catalan giants.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com and Sofascore.com

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