Manchester United vs FC Barcelona
Competition/Round: 2018-19 Champions League, Quarterfinals, First Leg
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Thomas Vermaelen, Rafinha, Jean-Clair Todibo (out)
Man United Outs & Doubts: Eric Bailly, Matteo Darmian, Alexis Sánchez, Antonio Valencia (out), Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Marcus Rashford (doubt)
Date/Time: Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 9pm CET, 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
How to watch on TV: TNT (USA), BT Sport 2 (UK), SuperSport 5 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), others
How to stream: B/R Live (USA), BT Sport Live (UK), Movistar+ (Spain), others
Following a La Liga title-winning victory over Atlético Madrid at the weekend, Barcelona are in England for a huge Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Blaugrana got a nice draw considering the other possible opponents in the Last Eight, but this is still going to be a very difficult tie.
This might just be the worst United side of the last two decades, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done well to instill confidence and improve results after a bad ending to the José Mourinho Era. United’s best players, including Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, are back to their best and extremely confident following the miracle comeback against PSG. They’re in poor form, however, losing three of their last four in all competitions ahead of this one.
The first leg at Old Trafford is really the crucial game in this tie. It’s hard to see United having a realistic chance at Camp Nou without a big win at home, and if Barça are able to score multiple away goals they’ll take a giant result back to a place where they’ve been almost unstoppable this season.
Old Trafford is always awesome on European nights, and the crowd will be ready for it. Barça will relish the chance to play in such a historic ground, and guys like Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez would love to have a big night at the Theatre of Dreams. This should be fun.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suárez, Coutinho
Man United (4-3-3): De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelöf, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Martial
If we manage to navigate what will no doubt be a crazy 15-20 minutes at the start with United pressing and feeding off the energy from the crowd, I’ve got a good feeling about this one given how well we’ve played in Europe this season: 3-1 Barça, huge step to the semis.