Thursday, March 30, 2023

Prediction: Manchester United vs Barcelona

Verdict: Manchester United to qualify

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Two European icons who will be looking to extend on their Europa League adventure on Thursday night, Manchester United will welcome Barcelona to Old Trafford.

Manchester United

Starting with the hosts, while Manchester United might have been disappointed after settling for a 2-2 draw in Catalonia last week, the Premier League giants are in the midst of a stellar purple patch. Picking up some perfect momentum over the weekend as they breezed their way to a 3-0 romp against relegation outsiders Leicester, Erik ten Hag’s side should find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high. With the former Ajax boss desperate to end United’s six-year wait to lift a piece of silverware, the Red Devils should be confident of finishing off the job here. Cruising their way to the final of this season’s EFL Cup and booking a showdown with Newcastle for this weekend, Thursday’s hosts have gained a string of plaudits over recent times. Hitting the ground running after returning from the World Cup’s winter break, ten Hag’s side have now lost just one of their previous 19 matchups across all formats – a run that stems all the way back to November 6th.

Team News

While Casemiro might be serving a domestic suspension, the former Real Madrid superstar will make a return to ten Hag’s midfield on Thursday night. However, United will once again be without the likes of Christian Eriksen, Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek.

Bagging yet another brace in last weekend’s 3-0 romp against Leicester, the red-hot Marcus Rashford will lead United’s attack at Old Trafford.


As for the visitors, while Barcelona might face a real struggle if they’re to avoid another public European collapse on Thursday night, Xavi’s side are in the midst of their own eye-catching flurry. Appearing to storm their way to this season’s La Liga crown and already holding a commanding eight-point buffer over the chasing pack, the Spanish giants will be desperate to lay down a heavyweight marker here. Picking up their own perfect momentum over the weekend as they claimed a routine 2-0 victory at home against Cadiz, Xavi’s side are unbeaten in each of their previous 18 straight matchups across all formats. With that purple patch stemming all the way back to their 3-0 drumming at the hands of Bayern Munich on October 26th, Barcelona have also gained a reputation for their stellar performances on the road. In fact, the midweek guests are enjoying an 11-match winning run away from the Nou Camp, a run that also saw them lift this year’s Spanish Super Cup.

Team News

In what is a major midfield headache for Xavi on Thursday night, Barcelona will be without the trio of Pedri, Gavi and Sergio Busquets when they make the trip to Old Trafford.

Likewise, the Spanish giants have also confirmed that long-term absentee and attacking talisman Ousmane Dembele will once again miss out here. Despite drawing a blank last week, Robert Lewandowski will spearhead Xavi’s charge.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two European giants met at the Nou Camp for their first-leg meeting last week, Barcelona and Manchester United played out a 2-2 draw.
    • The Premier League heavyweights have lost just one of their previous 19 straight matchups across all formats.
    • Likewise, Barca have won each of their last 11 straight showdowns away from the Nou Camp.
    • England international Marcus Rashford has bagged 16 strikes since returning from the World Cup break.
    • Four of Manchester United’s last six contests at Old Trafford have finished with both teams finding the net.


    While Barcelona might be enjoying a stellar domestic flurry on either side of the World Cup break, Xavi’s side should face a real challenge on Thursday night. Making the trip to Old Trafford without three of their midfield stars, Manchester United will be looking to lay down another marker here. Picking up some perfect momentum over the weekend as they stormed their way to a 3-0 romp against Leicester, the Premier League giants have continued to gain plenty of admirers. Spearheaded by the red-hot Rashford and gaining a reputation for their free-scoring displays, we’re backing ten Hag’s side to extend on their Europa League adventure on home soil.

    Verdict: Manchester United to qualify

    Best Odds: 7/10

    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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