The first leg lived up to the pre-match hype, and now Manchester United and Barcelona renew hostilities at Old Trafford on Thursday night to determine who will progress from their Europa League knockout round playoff tie.
The two continental giants – who competed in the Champions League final only 12 years ago – played out a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou last week, and a similarly exhilarating contest can be expected at the Theatre of Dreams.
Turning Old Trafford into a fortress once again, Ten Hag’s charges have 14 wins and a draw to show from their last 15 home matches, but both Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid won at the Theatre of Dreams in 2022, and Barcelona would do well to take a leaf out of their Spanish counterparts’ book.
United have had plenty of players on the naughty step recently, but the duo of Lisandro Martinez and Marcel Sabitzer are back from continental bans served in the first leg, while Casemiro will also return to the fold amid his three-game domestic suspension, which has now been completed.
Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek continue their long-term recoveries, and it remains to be seen if Anthony Martial, Harry Maguire and Antony can overcome their niggles in time for Thursday – the latter’s possible absence should guarantee a recall for Sancho over Alejandro Garnacho.
Raphael Varane will expect to demote Victor Lindelof to the bench, while the Wout Weghorst number 10 experiment did not go as planned in the first half against Leicester, so the towering Dutchman could revert to a central role as 24-goal Rashford supports him.
Europa League schedule
It’s an 8:00 PM kickoff in the UK, which translates to 3:00 PM on the east coast of the U.S.
Europa League channel
Those in the UK will need Sky Sports Premier League or the accompanying streaming services such as Sky Ultra to watch the game. Those Stateside can only watch the game on Paramount + streaming services. Everyone else, head on over to LiveSoccerTV to find your viewing options.
Europa League streaming
The Sky Ultra, Sky Sports Main Event, or Sky Go Extra App is the place to be if you’re in the UK. In the States, you can watch the game on the ESPN streaming app. If you’re in Canada, you can stream the game through DAZN.
Predicted XI: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Shaw, Malacia; Casemiro, Fred, Bruno Fernandes; Sancho, Weghorst, Rashford