Europa League: 5 Reasons Why Man United Can Beat Barcelona Ahead of Old Trafford Showdown

Europa League: 5 Reasons Why Man United Can Beat Barcelona Ahead of Old Trafford Showdown

Fred Kennedy
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:26 PM
In this article:
UEFA Europa League logo
UEFA Europa League
  • Manchester United vs Barcelona Europa League clash is scheduled for Thursday night at Old Trafford
  • The two teams played out a 2-2 epic draw in the reverse fixture played at Camp Nou last week
  • United will be desperate to see off the La Liga giants at home to stand a chance of advancing to the next round of the competition

Manchester United are scheduled to host Barcelona in the second leg of their Europa League knockout fixture at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

The Old Trafford cracker comes at a time both teams are enjoying a fine run of results, with Barcelona currently leading the La Liga standings with 59 points.

United, meanwhile, sit third in the Premier League charts, five points behind table-toppers Arsenal.

Erik ten Hag, Man United, Old Trafford, Barcelona, Xavi, Europa League.
Erik ten Hag during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford. Photo by Richard Heathcote.
Source: Getty Images

There will be everything to play for when the two European giants lock horns, with a spot in the next round of the tournament at stake.

Exciting feature: Check out news exactly for YOU ➡️ click on "Recommended for you" and enjoy!

The reverse tie played last week at the Camp Nou ended in a 2-2 thrilling draw, leaving the fixture wide open ahead of the second leg.

Barcelona boasts an incredible record against Man United heading into the Thursday night clash, with the Red Devils winning just one of their last 11 meetings against the Spanish giants.

Be that as it may, Erik ten Hag's men stand a chance of seeing off Xavi's charges at the Theatre of Dreams and subsequently book a spot in the next round of the competition.

Sports Brief takes a look at five reasons why Man United can beat Barcelona:

1. Home ground advantage

Manchester United will have the advantage of playing the second leg of their Europa League tie at home.

Playing at home means that United will have their 12th man to fire them to a much-needed win.

Ten Hag has since described how a great feeling it is having the match staged at Old Trafford.

2. Man United form

It goes without saying that Man United are currently the most in-form team in Europe.

The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions and Xavi knows too well the danger they pose ahead of the cracker.

"It will be a very difficult game, Manchester United are one of the best teams in Europe today and they're showing it every game," Xavi conceded during a news conference.

3. Barcelona injuries

Unlike Manchester United who have nearly a fully fit squad, Barcelona will miss the services of key players ahead of their trip.

The Catalans will be without the injured Pedri and Ousmane Dembele while Gavi is suspended.

4. Man United revenge mission

Despite playing in different countries, the rivalry between Barcelona and Man United has always been existent.

United will be having a point to prove ahead of the Thursday night cracker, especially after suffering heartbreaking defeats in the hands of Barca in recent years.

Perhaps the most memorable one is the 2009 Champions League final when the Spanish side stunned United 2-0 to win the European crown.

Therefore, the Premier League giants will be desperate to get a revenge on them when they visit.

5. Tie is wide open

Having settled for a pulsating 2-2 draw in the first leg, the return fixture is wide open and anyone can win.

Perhaps this sums up everything as to why United potentially have an edge over Barca in this tie.

Playing at home and their current form could be enough to fire them to the next round.

Man United stars to miss Barca clash

Earlier, Sports Brief reported Erik ten Hag is likely to miss the services of three key players when Man United battle Barcelona in the Europa League.

The three players, who include Harry Maguire, are currently out injured, with the centre-back nursing a knee injury.

United will be hoping to get the job done on Thursday night against the Spanish giants for a chance to qualify for the next round of the tournament.

Fred Kennedy photo
Fred Kennedy
Fred Kennedy has a Bachelor's degree in journalism (Daystar University), currently working as a Sports Editor. He has more than five years of experience in digital journalism.
Erik Ten HaagOld TraffordXavi