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Barcelona vs Man United Europa League knockout round play-off preview: Where to watch, kick-off time, predicted line-ups

When is it? How can you watch it? What are the possible line-ups? All you need to know about the UEFA Europa League knockout round play-off first leg between Barcelona and Man United.

Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes pictured in training on Wednesday morning
Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes pictured in training on Wednesday morning Manchester United via Getty Imag

Barcelona and Man United meet in the Europa League knockout round play-off first leg on Thursday 16 February.

Barcelona vs Man United at a glance

When: Thursday 16 February (18:45 CET kick-off)
Where: Camp Nou, Barcelona
What: UEFA Europa League knockout round play-off first leg (second leg: 23 February)
How to follow: Build-up and live coverage can be found here

Where to watch Barcelona vs Man United on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA Europa League broadcast partner(s) here.

Man United and Barcelona in Europa League showdown

What do you need to know?

Barcelona and Manchester United's 13 previous meetings have tended to be momentous, including victories for the Spanish side in the 2009 and 2011 UEFA Champions League finals and, in the last match between the clubs outside of that competition, a 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup final triumph for United.

Blaugrana coach Xavi Hernández started both the Champions League finals and lost only one of his six appearances in this fixture for the club, although that came in a 2007/08 semi-final when United went on to lift the trophy. The Red Devils added the Europa League to their collection in 2017, but success in the competition has thus far eluded Barcelona.

Predicted line-ups

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Koundé, Araújo, Christensen, Alba; Kessié, De Jong, Pedri; Gavi, Lewandowski, Raphinha
Misses next match if booked: Gavi

Man United: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Shaw, Malacia; Casemiro, Fred; Bruno Fernandes; Sancho, Weghorst, Rashford
Suspended: Martínez, Sabitzer

Form guide

Form (all competitions, most recent first)
Most recent result: Villarreal 0-1 Barcelona, 12/02, Spanish Liga
Where they stand: 1st in Spanish Liga, Copa del Rey semi-finals

Man United
Most recent result: Leeds United 0-2 Man United, 12/02, English Premier League
Where they stand: 3rd in English Premier League, FA Cup round of 16

All Marcus Rashford's Europa League goals

Expert predictions

Graham Hunter, Barcelona reporter
The absolute crux of this tie for Xavi's team is which version is the real Barcelona this season? Rampant at home and 11 points clear of champions Real Madrid, Barça have been defensively stingy in the Liga, conceding just seven in 21 games. In the Champions League they shipped an average of two per match. To get the better of United, Barcelona need to take their Spanish form into Europe.

Richard Martin, Man United reporter
The Camp Nou conjures up the best of memories for United and they return to the scene of one of their greatest ever triumphs in the very best of form. Confidence is flowing around Old Trafford after winning 12 matches from 15 since the season resumed after the World Cup, and fans have really warmed to Erik ten Hag for the positive impact he has had on the dressing room. None more so than Marcus Rashford, who has 13 goals and four assists since Qatar.

Ten Hag: 'We need a winning culture'

What the coaches say

Xavi Hernández, Barcelona coach: "It's going to be a good game, a spectacular tie for the neutrals. Both teams are perhaps in their best form all season. Ten Hag has changed this team. It was difficult at first, but he's doing an excellent job. They're a dangerous team with physical fortitude; they have a lot of threats and it's going to be difficult. I expect lots of intensity, a high tempo – exactly what you expect from English sides."

Erik ten Hag, Man United coach: "I think Barça is also a difficult club [to manage] but I think they are playing their best football for several years — you see Cruyff's influence here. They defend well but I think their biggest skill is they have so much possession. To quote Johan Cruyff: 'When you have the ball, the opponent cannot score'."

Where is the 2023 Europa League final?

Budapest's Puskás Aréna will host the final on 31 May 2023.

The winners gain a place in the 2023/24 Champions League group stage, if they have not qualified via their domestic competition.