Manchester United and Erik Ten Hag face a huge roadblock on their road to the Europa League final – Barcelona. Managed by Barca legend Xavi, the Catalonian giants are currently top of La Liga by eight points.
For their game against the La Liga leaders, Manchester United will be without Christian Eriksen, Donny Van De Beek and Casemiro for their upcoming Europa League play-off tie. Eriksen and Van De Beek are out with long-term injuries, while Casemiro is still serving his suspension from the red card he picked up against Crystal Palace. Additionally, Mason Greenwood will also be unavailable.
Antony, Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial are all major doubts for the game on Thursday. McTominay and Martial are both expected to miss out, while Antony could be fit to feature – although it’s highly unlikely that he will play the full game.
To get this far, United needed to get through a group consisting of them, Real Sociedad, Sheriff Tiraspol and Omonia Nicosia. They won five of their six games in the group, but were defeated by Sociedad in their opening Europa League game. They would gain a modicum of vengeance, however, when they beat the Spaniards 1-0 in the reverse fixture.
Barcelona, on the other hand, qualified for this stage due to being knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage.
A game of this calibre is rarely seen in the Europa League – especially so early on in the competition. Can United emerge victorious in this clash of the titans?