Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag doesn’t really field weakened sides, too much, for any competition but he’ll have to do some squad rotation on Thursday night.
United, fresh off playing Leeds twice in a five day stretch in the league, now visit FC Barcelona for the first leg of a Europa League play-off clash. One guy who is never to be dropped, right now is Marcus Rashford.
Man United vs FC Barcelona UEL FYIs
Kickoff: Thu Feb 16, 5:45pm GMT, Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain.
Competition: Europa League, Round of 16, Leg 1/2
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Man United vs FC Barcelona Tale of the Tape: go here
Man United Team News: go here
“He [Rashford] is a great striker, he scores with left, right and head,” Ten Hag said after win over Leeds.
“It is about keeping focus for the whole game, and it is about the finishing and he has the capabilities to do that.”
There will be some changes, from the Sunday starting XI, so let’s try and predict what they might be.
We predict a swap in between the sticks, Tom Heaton for David de Gea.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka comes in for Diogo Dalot at right back. Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof as the new central defense pairing for Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire.
On the left flank of the back line, it’s Lisandro Martinez in and Tyrell Malacia out. Casemiro, who is out with a suspension domestically, is eligible on the continent, and he comes in, which forces Marcel Sabitzer to the bench.
Moving further afield, into the attacking position group, Wout Weghorst hasn’t really done the job of filling the void left by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. Nevertheless, we predict a starting assignment for the January transfer window addition at the striker position.
Jadon Sancho, who had his first start since the fall, was later subbed for Alejandro Garnacho.
We predict he keeps his place here, as he needs more game time, perhaps fending off Anthony Elanga, who is perhaps pushing for a start here.
That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.
Man United Starting XI Prediction at FC Barcelona
Heaton; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford; Weghorst
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
Leave a Reply