The standout fixture in the Europa League playoff, two of the biggest names in world football take on each other for a place in the Europa League round of 16. Both teams are not where they want to be in terms of competitiveness but winning the competition will do them a world of good to get that positive feeling back in the club. Winning a European trophy is never a bad omen for things to come.
In this blog, we are going to analyse various aspects of the game and what are the chances of either team winning the tie. Make sure to read our LV BET Sports Blog to learn more about the upcoming Europa league fixtures and plenty of other interesting news.
Manchester United are looking like a solid team nowadays, which is a drastic improvement from the first few games in the Premier League under Erik ten Hag. At the time of writing, they are sitting in fourth place and nine points below leaders Arsenal. The summer signings have really impacted the way they are playing; Casemiro really solidified the midfield area, snuffing out chances at their inception. Marcus Rashford is also looking like a new man and enjoying his football.
In the Europa League campaign, they have struggled to get things going as they finished in second place edged out by Real Sociedad. That might come down to opposing teams sitting deep and trying to frustrate and hit with the counterattack when the opportunity presents itself. Playing against FC Barcelona should not be a problem as they aren’t going to sit deep and invite pressure they would want to impose themselves on the game.
The last time these two teams met was in the Champions League quarter-finals, and the Spanish side had the upper hand throughout the tie, winning 4-0 on aggregate. We are pricing Manchester United to win at Camp Nou at 19/5 (4.80), with United to score first at 7/4 (2.75).
Barcelona are in good spirits at the moment after what has been a very dark couple of months with financial restrictions. The team is performing better on the pitch, and for the fans, that is what matters. Xavi has made a great impact since taking over and has managed to steady the ship for them. Getting knocked out of the Champions League will surely be a hard pill to swallow, especially at a time when Barca needs the money to sustain its progress in the coming years. Now that the Champions League is out of their reach, the next best thing is the Europa League and coming up against Manchester United is not ideal early on in the competition.
The team has all the ingredients for a successful season, having two of the best young midfielders in the world in Pedri and Gavi, feeding the likes of Robert Lewandowski, who just loves scoring. Raphinha and Ousmane Dembele are having a stable season, and defensively, they are looking solid. It will be a very interesting game for the neutrals as this tie could really swing either way.
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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing