All the team news regarding injuries, suspensions and line-ups as United and Barça get ready to do battle in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Manchester United host Barcelona on Wednesday as the two European Cup greats meet in the first leg of the Champions League quarter final tie at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar’s Solskjaer’s side, who have enjoyed a resurgence since the Norwegian coach took over in December, have already shown themselves capable of beating the likes of Juventus and PSG (both away from home) to reach this stage of the competition. United will no doubt be aware of the size of the task at hand in overcoming a side like Barcelona. But with Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard at their best, The Red Devils – perhaps comfortable wearing the badge of underdogs – will also be quietly confident of pulling off an upset as they did in the last round against PSG.
While the Champions League is the only silverware that the The Red Devils are chasing at this point, Barcelona are eyeing a monumental treble this season by securing league, cup and European glory. Goals from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez against Atlético Madrid virtually wrapped up the league for El Blaugrana last weekend. And the two frontmen will be hungry to add more to their season tally against United at Old Trafford to set up a more comfortable return leg at Camp Nou next week.
Barcelona’s domestic dominance has been unquestioned in recent years but European glory has evaded them since 2015. After having watched their arch rivals Real Madrid scoop three consecutive Champions League titles, Ernesto Valverde side’s number one priority will be to go all the way in Europe this season. And slipping up on route against Manchester United will be deemed unthinkable for star man and captain Lionel Messi, who is particularly determined this year to add another Champions League medal to his decorated mantelpiece.
Manchester United team vs Barcelona
Starting XI: De Gea, Shaw, Lindelof, Smalling, Young (c), McTominay, Fred, Dalot, Pogba, Rashford, Lingard, Lukaku
Subs: Romero, Jones, Rojo, Mata, Pereira, Martial, Lingard
Barcelona team vs Manchester United
Starting XI: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho, Messi, Suarez
Subs: Cillessen, Umtiti, Vermaelen, Arthur, Aleñá, Vidal, Dembélé, Malcom
Manchester United vs Barcelona Champions League: injuries and suspensions
United are expected to be without Alexis Sanchez, Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian, all through injury.
Barcelona, meanwhile, will be without Rafinha, but have the added boost of Ousmane Dembélé, who has been deemed fit to play after having missed his side’s last four games.
Neither side has any suspended players for the game.
Manchester United vs Barcelona: what the managers said
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “Paul [Pogba] is looking forward to tomorrow. He is a Man United player; he is one of our big performers on the big stage. He knows the game against PSG was not his greatest moment so he is only focused on playing well tomorrow against Barcelona.”
Ernesto Valverde: “We know they are very strong in that aspect [set pieces] due to the size of their players. But we also have to be careful because of their speed on the counter attack and also with the impact that the fans can have…They have been gaining strength in the Champions League and they go into this game with high morale, wanting to show what they can do and, of course, they want to go through.”