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How Manchester United should line up vs Barcelona FC


Manchester United are in need of another dramatic European comeback if they’re to make it through to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Luke Shaw’s own goal in the first leg of the quarter finals at Old Trafford on Wednesday means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have to win if they’re to book their place in the next round.

The Norwegian was handed a squad boost ahead of the fixture with both Nemanja Matic and Alexis Sanchez returning to the travelling squad after spells on the sidelines.

However, the United manager will have a decision to make in defence with Luke Shaw suspended for the booking he picked up in the first leg at Old Trafford last week.

Marcos Rojo played at left back in the 2-1 Premier League victory over West Ham at the weekend while Ashley Young is available having sat out Saturday’s win due to suspension.

Ander Herrera has not travelled with the squad as Solskjaer expects him to be out for ‘some time.’

Barcelona vs Manchester United latest

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Here’s how our writers think United should line up.

Charlotte Duncker

Solskjaer should look to make four changes to the side that stumbled to a win against West Ham at the weekend. With Shaw suspended United have a decision to make at left back and while it could make sense to play Dalot at right back and switch Young back to the left the issue is Lionel Messi.

Assist aside the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had a quiet game at Old Trafford and Young is too slow of an option to deal with the Argentine who tends to operate from the right wing.

McTominay and Fred impressed in the first leg and should retain their places alongside Pogba who is automatically one of the first names on the team sheet.

Lingard and Rashford’s pace is needed up front with the former operating slightly behind a front two of Rashford and Lukaku.

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Samuel Luckhurst

Given what Solskjaer said about United being ‘too open’ against West Ham it seems likely that Matic will come back in. United have not majorly missed him, though, and Fred has some momentum following two decent performances last week. He and McTominay will need to be as disciplined as they were in Paris.

The back five picks itself. Dalot is more of an asset down the right, so should stay there. Up front, Rashford has to be a certainty and it is unfortunate for United he will have to be supported by at least one out of form forward. Martial could be more threatening off the bench, so Lingard and Lukaku get the nod.

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Young, Fred and Rashford come in
Young, Fred and Rashford come in

Tyrone Marshall

While the United defence pretty much picks itself with Shaw suspended, I would be tempted to swap Dalot and Young from last week. Young saw a lot of the ball at right-back but his delivery was abysmal, Dalot is a far better crosser of the ball from that flank.

In midfield Matic should only return to the bench, with McTominay, Fred and Pogba starting. I would play Fred in the deepest role and look to use his forward passing to start attacks.

Rashford has to lead the line, and while neither Lingard or Martial did enough on Saturday to really warrant a start, it might just be that they’re United’s best front three and they should start together in the Nou Camp.

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Rich Fay

United will need to strike the perfect balance when they take on Barcelona on Wednesday night, with crucial defensive and offensive decisions to make. The sight of Young might make some fans wince but in the absence of Shaw he simply has to start.

Although Matic is back in contention there is no way he should start, with Fred the preferable option at the base of midfield despite his risky style of play.

Sanchez and Martial were both bigged up in the pre-match build up but should both be on the bench with a strike force of Lukaku, Rashford and Lingard the best at hassling a defence which hates to be put under pressure.

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Now pick the team you want to see start.



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