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Monday, March 20, 2023

Boost for United as Barcelona is set to miss two key players for the Europa league tie

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As reported by the Sun, Manchester United has received an early boost prior to the first leg of their play-off match against Barcelona in the Europa League knockout phase next week.

The Red Devils will play their first leg of the European series at Camp Nou on February 16, and the club has already received a welcome boost. Ousmane Dembele has been a key player for the Spanish giants as he scored eight goals and seven assists from 28 games in all competitions.

However, the Frenchman won’t participate in either leg of the match against the Red Devils. He is now out until March after tearing a muscle in his thigh during the 1-0 loss to Girona.

Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets is also doubtful for the opening leg. The Spaniard injured his ankle after just four minutes against Sevilla on Sunday night. The Spanish star has participated in 18 of the Blaugrana’s 20 league games this season. Busquets has been a significant player for the team and the Catalan giants would suffer greatly without him.

The 34-year-old midfielder, who is no longer at the peak of his career but still capable of producing outstanding performances, may be preferred to play against United.

At Camp Nou, Erik ten Hag’s team just has themselves to worry about, although a Barcelona team without Dembele and Busquets is undoubtedly advantageous for the team.

Since the memorable Old Trafford night in April 2008, the Red Devils have not defeated Barcelona. They have a score to settle next week since they have lost the last four encounters with them.

Under Ten Hag, United has already demonstrated its ability to defeat the league’s top clubs. The Red Devils defeated Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal at home. Now, the main obstacle is to maintain the same level of performance on the way to Barcelona.

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