Barcelona vs Manchester United predictions and match preview for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League fixture. Read on for analysis as two European giants meet.
|Thursday 16th February 2023
|18:45 (local time)
|UEFA Europa League
Barcelona vs Manchester United Preview
It’s very rare that a Europa League tie overshadows the Champions League but that might just be the case this week with two of Europe’s form teams meeting at Camp Nou. Barcelona are leading LaLiga but they will expect a tough test from a resurgent Manchester United in what should be a cracking tie.
Barcelona will start as favourites as they drop into the Europa League from the Champions League for the second successive year. That fact alone should ensure Barça fans don’t get too carried away with things but unquestionably they have impressed in recent months and they feel a much more settled side now than was the case in the autumn when they failed to progress from a UCL group featuring Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.
Since losing comprehensively at home to Bayern, Barcelona have an outstanding record of 15 wins and a draw from 16 competitive games (including Extra Time and Penalties). While the opposition has rarely been of the highest level, their convincing Supercopa win over Real Madrid should give them the confidence to believe that they are now ready to not just compete with one of the best teams in Europe right now, but beat them.
Barcelona have only conceded once in 7 matches since that Supercopa win with Marc-André ter Stegen in fine form in goal. The German will expect to be a bit busier here though with Manchester United also in fantastic form. They’ve won 14 of their last 17 in all competitions, losing only once, although they did have a rare off night last week, only drawing 2-2 at home to rivals Leeds before winning the reverse fixture at Elland Road on Sunday.
United’s main dangerman right now is Marcus Rashford with the England international enjoying an electric start to 2023. He could certainly be a threat on the counter attack here with Jules Kounde the man most likely tasked with handling him. The hosts though will fancy their chances of creating chances against a United side that is weakened in midfield and defence by injuries and suspensions with Lisandro Martínez and Christian Eriksen among those to miss out.
Score Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United
This should be a cracking tie and while it’s unlikely to be settled on the night, Barcelona look capable of at least winning the 1st Leg. They’ve not been as defensively assured in Europe as in LaLiga so an away goal is a real possibility here but there should be goals in this for Barça against a United side that is missing one of their first choice centre-backs and will most likely be dependent on Harry Maguire who is not enjoying a great period in his career.
PLEASE NOTE – Our European predictions are not betting tips! No profits are guaranteed if you’re using them to bet on Spanish teams playing in Europe. If you are gambling, do so responsibly and never stake more than you can afford to lose. BeGambleAware.