Football Previews

Barcelona v Man Utd predictions, preview & expected XIs

By Chris Smith

Published: 17:37, 15 April 2019

Manchester United travel to Barcelona on Tuesday in search of another Champions League miracle as they try to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit.

Despite putting in a resolute defensive performance, the Red Devils were ultimately outclassed by the Catalan giants, managing just 33.6% possession and failing to register a single shot on target, while a Luke Shaw own goal handed Barca the advantage.

Their miraculous comeback against PSG in the previous round will certainly inspire United but in Barcelona, they face a different animal than the Parisians.

The likes of Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets are veterans of multiple Champions League wins, while Bayern Munich’s landmark 3-0 win to complete a 7-0 aggregate rout in the 2013 semi-final was Barca’s last Camp Nou defeat in this competition.

Barcelona head into Tuesday’s clash on an 18-game unbeaten run across all matches – excluding the Supercopa de Catalunya – while Man Utd will still be buoyed by their maintained form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge back in December, winning 16 and losing just five of his 23 games so far.

Read on for Barcelona v Manchester United TV channel info, stats, predicted XIs and team news.

When is Barcelona v Manchester United?

Competition: Champions League

Venue: Camp Nou

Date: Tuesday, April 16

Kick-off: 8:00 PM BST

Where can I watch live? 

UK residents can watch Man Utd’s game against Barcelona on BT Sport 2, channel 414 on Sky and channel 528 for Virgin Media users. BT Sport subscribers can also watch the game online at and via their BT Sport app.


Tuesday’s game will be the 13th meeting between Barcelona and Man Utd, with the Spanish champions enjoying a very strong recent record.

United have suffered defeat in their last three meetings with the Catalan giants, while they have won just one of their last nine dating back to 1994.

Barcelona wins: 5 Draws: 4 Manchester United wins: 3

Barca’s home record will strike fear into United…

They may have had their ups and downs in the Champions League in recent years, having to watch Real Madrid take three consecutive titles, but Barcelona are still experts when it comes to playing in the Camp Nou.

The Blaugrana are now 30 games unbeaten at home in Europe’s most prestigious tournament, with Bayern Munich the last to triumph there in 2013. Even more impressively, Barca have won 27 of those 30 games, swatting aside the likes of Inter Milan, Arsenal and PSG (to name a few) with consummate ease during that time.

Spurs managed an impressive draw at the Camp Nou this season, one of just three failures to win on home soil since that Bayern game. But United need to go one step further and strike a knockout blow to the Catalan giants if they are to progress.

…but could United’s Paris and Turin heroics play on Barca’s minds?

Barca may be formidable, almost invincible at home. But one thing that characterises Man Utd more than any other side is that they fear nobody.

Even under Jose Mourinho this season, just when it looked like they were down and out, they bagged two late goals against all logic as well as the run of play to pull off a monumental 2-1 win over Juventus in Turin after Cristiano Ronaldo had given the home side the lead, almost ending United’s European adventure before it had ever really begun.

And, of course, there was that night in Paris. With United trailing 2-0 after the first leg against PSG, they found themselves 2-1 up at the Parc des Princes before Marcus Rashford’s 94th-minute penalty sealed a dramatic, famous comeback win.

Of course, Barcelona are an entirely different animal, but Paul Pogba himself has talked up United’s chances, thanks to their Parisian exploits.

“We know where we can hurt them,” he said after the first leg. “Probably Paris will be in their minds for sure because they saw what we can do against PSG.

“Obviously they will be comfortable on their own pitch but let us see. We’ll see what happens at the end.

“Of course, we believe that we can beat them.”

Team news

A heavily rotated Barcelona squad played out a lacklustre 0-0 draw with Huesca on Saturday, although Ousmane Dembele gained valuable minutes at a time when Ernesto Valverde can afford the odd La Liga slip up.

Dembele is likely to return to the substitute’s bench on Tuesday, while Sergi Roberto (muscular problem) and Ivan Rakitic (fever) should come back into the starting XI after missing the Huesca game.

As for United, they will have to cope without Shaw, who is suspended after picking up his third yellow card of the competition in the first leg. However, they could be boosted by returns from Nemanja Matic, Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera, who have all struggled with injury in recent weeks.

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How everyone thinks Barcelona and Man Utd will line-up

1. Coutinho to miss out as Valverde plays it safe again

Despite being in cruise control in La Liga, reaching the Copa del Rey final and taking command of their Champions League quarter-final, some sections of the Barcelona support aren’t particularly happy with the football on show under Valverde.

Many are accusing the 55-year-old of playing it ‘too safe’, leading to an over-reliance on a piece of Messi magic or Suarez splendour. However, the Evening Standard don’t see any change coming from Valverde any time soon, with their predicted line-up including Roberto as part of a solid, four-man midfield diamond, with the off-form Philippe Coutinho missing out.

The Evening Standard’s predicted Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Roberto, Rakitic, Arthur; Messi, Suarez

2. Lingard comes in as Solskjaer embraces the counter-attack

Arguably the hallmark of Solskjaer’s reign at Old Trafford so far has been the transformation of Man Utd’s counter-attack. The Red Devils have gone from a turgid, painfully slow side, and turned into a ruthless team that will pick you off at break-neck speed.

They will need to harness the full potential of that on Tuesday if they are to pull off another miracle and the Evening Standard believe Jesse Lingard will come in for the suspended Shaw to make up a more attacking unit – a bold tactical manoeuvre from the 3-5-2 utilised in the first leg – with Diogo Dalot dropping in at full-back.

The Evening Standard’s predicted Man Utd XI: De Gea; Dalot, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; McTominay, Fred, Pogba; Lukaku, Rashford, Lingard

3. Coutinho to keep his place while Lukaku leads the line again

Coutinho may be off form, but the Brazilian is still a magician capable of game-defining moments. If United’s counter-attack causes the problems it’s capable off, Valverde may just need that ace in the hole to bail his side out.

We at Squawka believe the ex-Liverpool man will keep his place in the starting XI, while Solskjaer will once again have Romelu Lukaku leading the line, whose goals have dried up somewhat after that trio of consecutive braces in February and March.

Squawka’s predicted Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Coutinho, Suarez, Messi

Squawka’s predicted Man Utd XI: De Gea; Dalot, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; Fred, Pogba, McTominay; Rashford, Lukaku, Martial

Squawka Prediction

United will take inspiration from that famous night in Paris last month and are certainly capable of causing Barcelona problems. Ultimately, though, they won’t have enough to end Barca’s impressive unbeaten record in the Champions League at home. Barcelona 1-1 Manchester United.


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