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Barcelona BCN
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M. United MNU
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Clash of the titans at Camp Nou

Two of the world’s highest profile clubs go head-to-head at Camp Nou as Barça and United look for a place in the Europa League Round of 16.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group C - FC Barcelona v Inter Milan - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - October 12, 2022  FC Barcelona fans display flags in the stands before the match REUTERS/Albert Gea
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It’s not a Champions League game as Xavi Hernández rightly pointed out in the preview, but it’s a big, big contest between two of the most supported and decorated teams on the planet. A duel between two European giants with the Catalans failing to make the cut in the paradise that is the UCL with United coming second in their Europa League group and having to contest this play-off.

The first instalment of this two part drama will be played this evening at a packed Camp Nou with the return leg coming next Thursday at Old Trafford.

Tonight’s game which is a repeat of the 2011 Champions League final in which FC Barcelona lifted the cup seems like aeons ago with both club’s enjoying highs and lows in the intermittent period.

Now both teams are in a rebuilding process and both enjoying positive starts with Dutch coach Ten Hag finding his rhythm at Old Trafford lifting the Red Devils to a current third position in the Premier League. Xavi too is enjoying success in his first full season with Barça as his side lead LaLiga by eight points.

Europe offers an acid test for both sides, Barcelona were disappointing in a difficult group finishing third behind Bayern Munich and Inter. United came second behind in-form Basque side Real Sociedad which contributed to this play-off test which secures access to the next phase of the Europa League.

Both teams come into the game with high profile absences as Dembélé and Busquets are ruled out for Barça and Lisandro, Van de Beek and Eriksen also out of contention through injury for the Mancunian side.

A massive clash at Camp Nou awaits in a game that would grace any major European final but only one team can prevail.