Manchester United are currently gearing up for what could be a pivotal few days in their season, with the Carabao Cup final showdown with Newcastle United now looming large.
Prior to Sunday’s Wembley encounter, however, the Red Devils are set to take on Barcelona in their Europa League, play-off, second-leg clash at Old Trafford this evening, with Erik ten Hag’s men having produced an impressive display in Catalonia last week to claim an encouraging 2-2 draw with the La Liga leaders.
Ahead of the finely-poised reverse fixture later today, United will be able to welcome back Lisandro Martinez and Marcel Sabitzer after the pair missed the trip to Camp Nou through suspension, while both Harry Maguire and Antony are also in line to return from their recent injury absence.
What could Man United’s XI look like against Barcelona?
With that in mind, Football FanCast predicts that Ten Hag will make five changes from the side that beat Leicester City at the weekend, with the most notable alteration set to see Casemiro return at the base of the midfield.
4-3-3: (GK) De Gea; (RB) Wan-Bissaka, (CB) Varane, (CB) Martinez, (LB) Shaw; (CM) Casemiro, (CM) McTominay, (CAM) Sancho; (RW) Fernandes, (ST) Weghorst, (LW) Rashford.
Ahead of long-serving stopper David De Gea there could well be some tweaks made to the backline, with defensive “Rolls-Royce” Raphael Varane – as described by Statman Dave – set to return after sitting out the win over the Foxes, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka could take the place of Diogo Dalot, with the latter man having somewhat underwhelmed on Sunday – losing possession on 12 occasions.
As for the midfield, the aforementioned Casemiro could be joined by Scott McTominay following the Scotland international’s recent return from injury, with Fred – who has been branded “erratic” by journalist Tom McDermott – having again frustrated last time out.
The final midfield berth may be taken up by Jadon Sancho once again as the Englishman netted off the bench against Brendan Rodgers’ side, with that tactical shake-up likely to see Bruno Fernandes remain on the right wing.
That alteration should also see Wout Weghorst restored to his usual striking berth – amid Anthony Martial’s continued injury woes – while Marcus Rashford will be hoping to bolster his already career-best tally of 24 goals off the left.
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