Thursday, March 30, 2023

Prediction: Barcelona vs Manchester United

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

In what is a heavyweight Europa League affair on Thursday evening, Barcelona will welcome Premier League giants Manchester United to the Nou Camp.


Starting with the hosts, while Barcelona might have come under real scrutiny for losing their Champions League status last year, the Spanish icons are in the midst of an extended purple patch. Picking up some perfect momentum over the weekend as they claimed a 1-0 victory away at Villarreal, the mood in Xavi’s camp is at a red-hot high. Now sat in pole position to reclaim their La Liga crown in 2023, the Catalonia-based outfit have continued to gain a string of plaudits on either side of the World Cup break. Claiming this season’s Spanish Super Cup thanks to a 3-1 romp against Real Madrid on January 15th, it should be noted that Xavi’s youngsters are unbeaten in each of their last 16 matchups across all competitions. With their sights set on making real history this year, Barcelona are also enjoying a remarkable 11-match winning run. Riding what has been a stellar wave over recent months, Thursday’s hosts will be looking to claim a first-leg advantage here.

Team News

In what is a real blow for Barcelona on Thursday evening, Xavi will once again be without midfield veteran Sergio Busquets here. Likewise, French international Ousmane Dembele is still dealing with a hamstring injury and will play no part in midweek.

Former Leeds star Raphinha should once again join attacking talisman Robert Lewandowski in attack.

Manchester United

As for the visitors, gaining some immediate revenge on Leeds over the weekend as they claimed a deserved 2-0 win at Elland Road, Manchester United are certainly enjoying life under Erik ten Hag. While the Premier League giants might face a real uphill struggle if they’re to mount a stunning title charge in 2023, the Red Devils are easing towards a much-needed top-four return. Gaining plenty of praise under the former Ajax boss, United will travel out to Catalonia with the mood in their camp at a real high. Despite being left heartbroken on January 22nd as they were hit with a last-gasp 3-2 defeat at the hands of Arsenal, Thursday’s guests have proven that was nothing more than a minor blip. Booking their spot in the final of this season’s EFL Cup after storming their way to a 5-0 aggregate win against Nottingham Forest, ten Hag’s men have lost just one of their previous 17 appearances across all formats.

Team News

Despite dealing with a domestic suspension, Manchester United will be glad to welcome back former Real Madrid superstar Casemiro on Thursday evening. However, Antony, Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay look set to miss out.

Once again finding the net at Elland Road last weekend and recording 13 post-World Cup strikes, Marcus Rashford will spearhead ten Hag’s attack at the Nou Camp.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last met back in 2019, Barcelona claimed a thumping 3-0 Champions League victory at the Nou Camp.
    • Thursday’s hosts are also unbeaten in each of their previous 16 appearances across all formats.
    • Likewise, the Spanish icons have also won their last 11 consecutive matchups.
    • However, Manchester United are unbeaten in each of their previous 16 appearances across all formats.
    • Marcus Rashford has scored 13 goals across all formats since returning from the World Cup break.


    In a real showdown between two European icons on Thursday evening, neutrals will be hoping for an electric affair from the Nou Camp. While it might be a high-flying Barcelona who find themselves tipped as a standout pick, some in Manchester United’s camp will be dreaming of springing a Europa League upset in Catalonia. Making an immediate return to winning ways with a 2-0 victory against Leeds last weekend, the Premier League giants are clearly enjoying life under ten Hag. Two sides who have only continued on their respective purple patches since returning from the winter break, we’re backing an affair that could see chances come at both ends of the pitch.

    Verdict: Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 17/20

    Bookmaker: Unibet


    Tom Dunstan

    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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