Barcelona v Manchester United, Champions League

Barcelona start as hot favourites to get the better of Man Utd in the Champions League on Tuesday

Will Reilly previews Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final, second leg, Barcelona v Man Utd , 8pm, live on BT Sport 2

Form:

Man Utd have lost four of their last six matches, including 1-0 at home to Barcelona in this tie’s first leg. They were also far from convincing against West Ham on Saturday, although they did win 2-1.

They do, though, have the experience of their amazing 3-1 win in Paris against PSG in the Champions League last-16 tie, second leg, to draw upon to give them hope of pulling off what looks like an improbable victory in Barcelona. That plus attacking talent like Rashford (if fit), Lukaku, Martial and Pogba.

Other than in Copa del Rey, Barcelona have lost just twice this season, but are unbeaten in the Champions League, winning six and drawing three of their nine games so far this campaign. They are nine points clear at the top of La Liga and are set to be crowned champions in Spain for the twenty-sixth time.

They have won 15 of their last 22 games in all competitions and have scored 21 goals in their last eight matches, with the great Lionel Messi getting ten of them in what has been another memorable season. In fact, he’s scored 13 goals in his last eleven games and, also, provided four assists. Furthermore, He has scored 43 goals in 41 appearances this season (all comps for Barcelona) and provided 21 assists.

The great Lionel Messi is having another outstanding season

Barcelona suffered a Champions League hangover when drawing 0-0 at Huesca on Saturday, where they rested several key players including Messi and Suarez. Normal team selection will resume on Tuesday.

Check out our latest markets on Barcelona v Man Utd in the Champions League

The Match:

Much as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has steadied the ship at United, there is still a big job to be done in terms of revamping the team to make them into genuine title contenders.

In some ways, they are limping over the season’s line as Marcus Rashford, surely a mainstay of their attack for many years to come, is struggling to recover full fitness and such things as an unconvincing home win over West Ham on Saturday night and the fact that they failed to register a shot on target in the Champions League first leg against Barcelona don’t inspire confidence ahead of their Spanish trip.

They would have hoped to have Ander Herrera fit to play against Barca alongside the fit-again Nemanja Matic to lend much-needed ballast to the defensive side of things as they are going to spend long periods behind the ball looking to make inroads via counter-attacks.

They played that way at home in the first leg and it will be even more pronounced in the second leg.

As mentioned earlier, Barcelona suffered a Champions League hangover when drawing 0-0 at Huesca on Saturday, where they rested several key players, including Messi and Suarez. Much as they are not up there with the vintage Barcelona teams of the last 20 years – let’s face it, who is? – they are still a very good side and, in players like Pique, Busquets, Suarez and the inimitable and brilliant Lionel Messi, they are still a high-class side and are set to dominate proceedings on Tuesday.

Team News:

Barcelona – No injury concerns. In fact, Ousmane Dembele is fit again and will be part of the squad. He was an unused sub in the first leg.

Man Utd – Ander Herrera and Eric Bailly did not travel with the squad as they are recovering from injury. Ex-Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez is fit again and available for selection. Luke Shaw is suspended.

Verdict:

It is hard to see beyond a win for Barcelona. They will dominate possession and it seems unlikely that Man Utd, who haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last nine matches, will fail to concede.

Barcelona to win at 4/11 looks reasonable as does Messi to score first at 9/4. I also like the look of Barcelona to win each half, which is available at 19/10.

A suggested score is 3-1 to Barcelona, which is 9/1



Please gamble responsibly, for more information click here
*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article