Reporter’s view (Ediale Kingsley, nationaldailyng.com):
The question is can Manchester United have a great comeback? The answer is a straight NO. Why, after five exhausting games in 15 days, Ernesto Valverde has ensued this second leg is played by well rested legs, this he did by fielding youth and fringe players against Huesca at the weekend. Gerard Piqué and Luis Suárez were suspended, while Sergio Busquets, Lionel Messi, Sergi Roberto and Ivan Rakitić were rested. Full-strength Barça against United? It’s impossible for a comeback. Ousmane Dembélé is back, fit, and played in that Huesca match. Game on, and time for the Spanish champions to seal passage to the semi-finals.
What the both managers will try to do tonight and what the outcome will be. Barcelona lead 1-0 from first leg so the English team hope to repeat Paris comeback. And for Valverde who has said “Our priority is to score”, they will play the regular barca way, which is ball possession, match control and attacking pressure.
“Clean sheet and we’re in it” says Solskjær. So the general idea will be to rely on a counter attack while they try to shock Barca. United wont sit all back to allow Barca play all the ball. They will come for goals. While this game is almost won and lost, lets be intrigued that winner from this fixture will face Liverpool or Porto in semis (most likely Liverpool).
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Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitić, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suárez, Dembélé
While Rafinha who has knee injury is out, Vermaelen (hamstring) is doubtful.
Busquets and Semedo will miss next match if they get any booking in this game.
Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelöf, Smalling, Young; McTominay, Fred, Pogba; Rashford, Lukaku, Martial
The following plays are out of this match: Bailly (concussion), Herrera (thigh), Shaw (suspended), Valencia (calf).
Herrera, Matić, Valencia, Young will all missed next match if any of them gets booked in this game.
Messi v Smalling : It took a broken nose and bloody face for Messi to leave Old Trafford without a goal. Thanks to Smalling. We know Messi always likes to have the last laugh and his style of revenge is by humiliating his opposition with magical goals.