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Manchester United vs Barcelona: Europa League preview, team news & predicted starting XI

Manchester United will return to European action this week as they face Barcelona in the second leg of their Europa League play-off tie.

United are enjoying a good run of form at the moment and will be eager to secure a spot in the last 16 of the continental showpiece this week.

Barcelona have struggled on the European stage this season and will be looking to make a statement this time around.

The two sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first leg last Thursday and now have it all to play for when they face off this week.

When and where will the game take place?

After an impressive showing at the Spotify Camp Nou in the reverse fixture, United will return to Old Trafford for the determining clash.

The game is set to be played on Thursday night as one of the last four Europa League matches of the day.

Match Preview

Manchester United

United came from behind to pick up a 2-2 draw in the first leg, getting on the scoresheet via a Marcus Rashford strike and an own goal.

The Red Devils then picked up a dominant 3-0 home win over Leicester City last time out in the league.

They struggled to impress against the Foxes in the first half but upped the ante after the restart and will head into their midweek continental decider with confidence.

Erik ten Hag will also be buoyed by the return of Casemiro to the starting XI, while Marcel Sabitzer and Scott McTominay could also feature on Thursday.


The Spanish giants enjoyed multiple spells of dominance in the first leg, and efforts from Marcos Alonso and Raphinha were enough to see them avoid a first-ever home defeat to United.

The Catalan outfit then resumed their La Liga title charge last weekend with a largely comfortable 2-0 home win over Cadiz.

Sergi Roberto and Robert Lewandowski both got on the scoresheet for the Blaugrana last Sunday and are expected to feature at Old Trafford this week.

Ousmane Dembele, Pedri and Gavi will miss the trip to Old Trafford, with the former two out with injuries and the latter suspended.

Players to watch – Shaw vs Raphinha

Both managers rotated their starting XIs in their respective league outings at the weekend but should field their strongest team when they face off on Thursday.

Luke Shaw is one of many players at United to show significant improvement under Ten Hag this season and has been a regular in the side.

The Englishman played centre-back at Camp Nou but should return to his familiar left-back position this week with the return of Lisandro Martinez.

Raphinha endured a sluggish start to life at Barca but has now found form and put out an impressive showing in the reverse fixture last week.

The former Leeds United man understands the rivalry with the Red Devils and will be looking to end their continental run this week.

Manchester United vs Barcelona Predicted XI

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Bruno Fernandes, Wout Weghorst, Jadon Sancho; Marcus Rashford.

Barcelona (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen, Alejandro Balde; Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Franck Kessie; Raphinha, Ferran Torres, Robert Lewandowski.