Barcelona: They’re two members of European soccer’s aristocracy who, not so way back, had been assembly in Champions League finals.
Now Barcelona and Manchester United are going head-to-head within the unlikely confines of a Europa League playoff match.
Not that they’re enjoying like also-rans of the continent.
“On the finish of the day, we don’t should be within the Champions League and neither do they. However the degree continues to be very excessive,” Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez mentioned Wednesday.
Certainly, the golf equipment with two of the most important followings in world soccer are in a great place on the sector, particularly contemplating the plight they’ve discovered themselves in recent times.
Barcelona are rising, very slowly, from a crippling monetary disaster that value the membership Lionel Messi and lots extra. Their financial state of affairs continues to be grave — Barcelona’s newest accounts present the membership is greater than $650 million in debt, hardly helped by a group-stage exit from the Champions League — however the staff is performing so nicely that they’ve an 11-point lead within the Spanish league.
United, in the meantime, are rising up the Premier League and will win their first trophy in six years when they meet Newcastle within the closing of the English League Cup later this month.
In that sense, each groups have cause to consider they are going to be again competing on the high of European soccer quickly.
Within the meantime, their presence within the Europa League provides glamour to a contest that’s extensively considered because the Champions League’s little brother. The one disappointment for followers is that the assembly comes so early.
“I feel Barcelona and (us) as nicely (would) have most popular to play within the closing,” United supervisor Erik ten Hag mentioned. “Hopefully, everyone seems to be match for Barcelona and for us. So we see a sport on the highest degree.”
Barcelona are in good type, with their final loss coming in opposition to Bayern Munich as they exited the Champions League in October.
They’re within the Europa League as a result of they couldn’t win a gaggle sport in opposition to both Bayern or Inter Milan. However beneath Xavi, the staff has now received eight in a row in all competitions, with striker Robert Lewandowski taking up the position of star participant.
“I actually like his staff, the attacking means of play,” Ten Hag mentioned. “I feel he’s in the precise path. I feel it’s going to be a great problem between Manchester United and Barcelona.”
Xavi, who received two Champions League closing on the sector with Barcelona in opposition to United, has obtained his staff enjoying in addition to it has all season regardless of accidents to Ousmane Dembele and Sergio Busquets. Spain internationals Pedri and Gavi are driving the midfield, whereas Raphinha is filling in properly for Dembele.
Ten Hag has needed to contend together with his personal absences, however has nonetheless been capable of put United ready to compete for the league title. Midfielder Christian Eriksen will miss the vast majority of the remainder of the season with an ankle downside and Anthony Martial continues to battle to remain match.
Given United terminated Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract in November, Ten Hag has been left quick in assault, which is why the type of Marcus Rashford has been essential. The England ahead, who has been linked with a transfer to Barcelona previously, has scored 13 objectives in his final 15 video games and 21 all season.
Jadon Sancho can be again after being given day without work to rediscover his type and provides to United’s choices up entrance.
Ten Hag has a choice to make in assault, with January mortgage signing Wout Weghorst failing to offer a lot of a aim risk to date, scoring as soon as in eight appearances. With Sancho again, Rashford could be switched from the left wing right into a central place, the place he has managed to attain from in every of United’s final two video games when moved there throughout the match.
“Rashford is among the most harmful strikers,” Xavi mentioned. “He’s very quick, a great dribbler, good in one-on-ones and really harmful within the transitions.
“We have to deal with all of United’s gamers, however Rashford is actually some of the harmful in Europe.”
Brazil winger Antony, midfielder Scott McTominay and Martial had been absent as United educated on Wednesday morning earlier than flying out to Barcelona. Lisandro Martinez and on-loan Marcel Sabitzer are suspended for the primary leg, however Casemiro is offered after lacking the final two league video games by way of suspension.
When is Barcelona vs Manchester United within the Europa League?
Barcelona vs Manchester United is scheduled to be performed on 16 February.
What time is Barcelona vs Manchester United within the Europa League?
Barcelona vs Manchester United first leg within the Europa League goes to kick off at 11.30 PM IST on Thursday (6 PM GMT on Thursday).
Which TV channel will broadcast Barcelona vs Manchester United in India?
Barcelona vs Manchester United goes to be telecast on Sony Sports activities Ten 2 & Sony Sports activities Ten 2 HD
The place to reside stream Barcelona vs Manchester United in India?
Barcelona vs Manchester United reside streaming might be accessible on SonyLiv to subscribers.
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