Manchester United will take on Barcelona in a vital Champions League clash on Wednesday. We take a look at the predicted lineup for the first leg of the quarterfinal tie.
Manchester United will take on the Catalan giants in the first leg of the quarterfinal tie at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer’s men will aim to get back to winning ways as they face, arguably their toughest opponents this season. United have had a disappointing few weeks so far, which saw them being knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolves, and losing to them in the Premier League as well.
The side is currently at sixth position in the league and faces an uphill task to ensure a top-4 finish in the league.
As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempts to stop the high-flying Barcelona side, we take a look at their predicted line up for the game.
Manchester United predicted line up vs Barcelona:
Goalkeeper – David De Gea
The Spaniard has been one of the key players for Manchester United this season. Even when De Gea couldn’t replicate his heroics of the past many years this season, he has been one of the best performers of the side. Solskjaer would need the goalkeeper to be at his absolute best as the side turns up against the attack consisting of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, among others.
Defence: Shaw, Smalling, Lindelof, Young
Luke Shaw has to play one of the most important parts in the game against Barcelona in the game. Manchester United’s counter-attacking game could work in their favour, but only if the full-backs work in tandem to find spaces behind the Barca defenders.
Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof have worked reasonably well together on the pitch, and Solskjaer is unlikely to make a change to the defensive duo. Eric Bailly’s horror show in the second leg of the tie against PSG could well go against his favour.
Midfield: McTominay, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba
While Scott McTominay and Ander Herrera will play a significant role in keeping the Barcelona attack at bay, it is Paul Pogba who has to get the ball to the final third. The Frenchman has been far from his best in his last three games for United, but when in form, Pogba is one of the best midfielders in the world.
Pogba: “Barcelona are a team i always watch, you can always learn as a midfielder, I like watching football. Their system, their culture, it can always help me. They’re a great team. One of the best in the world. It’s a match where I want to have fun.” #mufc [Eurosport]
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) March 21, 2019
Phil Coutinho acknowledged the looming threat of the Manchester United midfielder ahead of the game, and Solskjaer would pin his hopes on the Frenchman to see United through.
Attack: Rashford, Lukaku, Martial
Solskjaer might be inclined to bench Jesse Lingard after a disappointing outing against Wolves last week. Romelu Lukaku could be included on the right wing – the Belgian boasts of quick pace which could be a huge factor for Manchester United in the game.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial too, are mightily pacy forwards who could create issues for the Barcelona defence.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pulled up to Carrington bright and early on Monday morning
Romelu Lukaku arrives for training at Carrington on Monday morning
Anthony Martial drives into training on Monday as United prepare to take on Barcelona pic.twitter.com/UbTK0yhNcS
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) April 8, 2019
With Rashford up top, we can expect Lukaku and Martial on either wing.
Predicted XI: De Gea; Shaw, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; Matic, Ander Herrera, Pogba; Rashford, Lukaku, Martial