Sancho and Antony start: Predicted Manchester United lineup for blockbuster Barcelona clash
Our predicted Manchester United line-up to take on Barcelona in Thursday’s Europa League play-off second leg.
The Red Devils take on fellow European heavyweights Barcelona on Thursday in a bid to book their place in the Europa League Round of 16. Both sides head into the clash with two goals apiece, leaving it all to play for at Old Trafford.
The backing of the United faithful will play a pivotal role as always for the squad over the second leg, and with the Theatre of Dreams deemed more of a fortress now than in several years, I believe the players will get the job done.
Last weekend saw United cruise to a 3-0 victory against Leicester City in a Premier League outing, with Marcus Rashford adding two goals to his tally for the season and Jadon Sancho coming in clutch with a goal to secure the three points.
Meanwhile, Xavi’s side continued their scintillating La Liga form with a 2-0 win over Cadiz. The Blaugrana now hold an eight-point advantage over second-placed Real Madrid.
United’s club media released Erik ten Hag’s latest press conference this afternoon, in which he confirmed Antony and Harry Maguire have recovered from their respective injuries and could be in line to feature. Anthony Martial is also progressing in his recovery and has returned to individual training, but Thursday’s game comes too soon for him to make the matchday squad.
Xavi must accommodate the absences of Pedri (injury) and Gavi. The teenager’s booking last week earnt him a one-game suspension that will be served on Thursday.
However, Sergio Busquets is fit to play. Take a look at the full team news for both teams here.
Predicted United line-up:
Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw
Antony, Fernandes (C), Sancho
Personally, I believe Wout Weghorst’s display against Leicester on Sunday could force Ten Hag’s hand into utilising Marcus Rashford up front. He is our most prolific goalscorer this season and we can’t take any risks when it comes to being clinical in front of goal. As well as that, Jadon Sancho’s performance was outstanding and he deserves a start.
Antony has been missed throughout his injury and we know how much Ten Hag appreciates and trusts him, so I think he’ll come straight back into the fold now he’s fit.
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