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Man Utd handed early Europa League boost with two key Barcelona stars injured

Manchester United have been handed an early boost ahead of the first leg of their Europa League knockout round play-off against Barcelona next week.

The Red Devils travel to the Camp Nou for the opening leg of the European tie on February 16 and ahead of the game, the club have received a timely boost.

Ousmane Dembele has been a vital player for the Blaugrana this campaign, registering eight goals and seven assists from 28 appearances across all competitions.

However, the Frenchman will play no part against the Red Devils in either leg. He suffered a tear in his thigh during the 1-0 loss to Girona and is now sidelined until March.

Meanwhile, Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets is a massive doubt for selection for the first leg.

The Spaniard suffered an ankle injury after just four minutes on the clock against Sevilla on Sunday night. Franck Kessie came on as his replacement in the 3-0 win.

Busquets has been a key figure for the Blaugrana, featuring in 18 of their 20 league matches this term. His absence would be a definite blow for the Catalan giants.

United may probably prefer to play against the 34-year-old, who is no longer in the prime of his career but the midfielder can still produce stand-out performances.

Erik ten Hag’s side only need to focus on themselves at Camp Nou but a Barcelona outfit without Dembele and Busquets is an obvious boost for the club.

The Red Devils have not beaten Barcelona since the magical night at Old Trafford in April 2008.

They have lost the last four meetings against them and have a score to settle next week. United have already shown that they can beat the best in the league under Ten Hag.

The club have won against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City at home. The big challenge now is to produce the same level of performance on the road to Barcelona.

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