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Europa League

Manchester United trio expected to miss Barcelona clash

Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial and Antony are all doubts for Manchester United’s upcoming fixture against Barcelona, reports The Athletic.

United welcome Barcelona to Old Trafford for the second leg of their Europa League play-off tie on Thursday. The first leg finished 2-2 at Camp Nou, with Marcus Rashford on the scoresheet.

This competition is seen as a huge opportunity for the Red Devils. If they get past their opponents on Thursday, they will be one of the favourites to win the prize. The fans are desperate to get another trophy in the cabinet, having not lifted any silverware since 2017.

However, they will likely be without three first-team players for their clash with the Catalan giants. According to The Athletic, Maguire, Martial, and Antony are all unlikely to feature due to injury.

Maguire was an unused substitute in the reverse fixture but missed the weekend’s game against former club Leicester City with a knee problem. Meanwhile, the other two have been absent since the beginning of February.

In previous years, the England international was a regular starter. This hasn’t been the case this season, with manager Erik ten Hag preferring to use Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw at centre-back.

When fit, Martial has often been in Ten Hag’s starting XI. However, the forward has suffered a series of injury problems, limiting his game time to just 722 minutes in all competitions. In this time, he has scored six and assisted two.

Similarly, Antony is Ten Hag’s first-choice right-winger when available. Since arriving from PSV Eindhoven last summer, the Brazilian has scored five and assisted one from 23 outings.

United are boosted by the returns of Martinez and Marcel Sabitzer on Thursday, both of whom missed the trip to Spain through suspension.

Scott McTominay is also back in contention, making his first appearance for a month over the weekend.