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How Sabitzer and Weghorst signings improve United’s chances against Barcelona

Manchester United face the risk of early elimination from the Europa League, with Barcelona their opposition in the knockout round play-offs. 

Xavi has brought a considerable improvement in his side after their shocking Champions League group stage exit. 

The Catalans have been unbeaten in all competitions since their 3-0 home loss to Bayern Munich in October. 

United also have enjoyed an excellent campaign under manager Erik ten Hag.

However, they recently suffered a big blow when Christian Eriksen picked up a serious injury in the FA Cup clash against Reading

The Dane has been one of their most important team members, featuring in 31 matches across all competitions. 

Despite having very little time available, the Red Devils wrapped up a brilliant loan move for Marcel Sabitzer as a replacement. 

The 28-year-old hasn’t been a regular starter for Bayern, but he is a quality addition for United. 

Without the loan signings of Sabitzer and Wout Weghorst, Ten Hag’s men would have a slim chance of beating Barcelona in the Europa League. 

But the addition of the two players has improved their prospects of making progress. 

Sabitzer is a top midfielder who offers plenty in defence and attack. Predominantly a central midfielder, the Austrian can play in several other positions.

The 28-year-old is very composed under pressure and rarely loses possession. He isn’t a great dribbler but boasts excellent passing ability. 

United would also have been in big trouble without the acquisition of Weghorst. 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure in November left them with only Anthony Martial as a recognised senior striker. But the Frenchman’s injury issues mean he is unlikely to be available all the time. 

United couldn’t afford not to sign a new centre-forward in January, but their budget was limited. 

They made an inspired move for Weghorst, who cost them only a £2.6 million loan fee

The 30-year-old doesn’t boast much pace but has averaged a goal every two games during his career.

He is very hardworking and links up exceptionally well with other players. 

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