After a 2-2 draw in the first leg, Manchester United will face Barcelona in the round of 32 of the UEFA Europa League. On February 23, the second leg is set to take place at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have been effective lately and come into this match with an eight-game winning run.
Barcelona has also been outstanding, as they enter this match with an 18-game winning streak overall.
The first leg of the match was dramatic, and this matchup looks to be just as exciting.
So let’s take a closer look at three crucial personal conflicts that could impact how this encounter turns out.
#3 Casemiro vs Frenkie de Jong
Since joining the squad last summer, the Brazilian has played a big role for the Red Devils, and his contributions to the team’s offence and defence have improved its overall performance.
In 31 games for Manchester United this season, Casemiro has four goals and five assists. The midfield has been stabilised by his expertise, and he continues to be an important player for the Red Devils in this match.
In the meantime, Frenkie de Jong will need to effectively manage his midfield without Pedri and Gavi if he wants to win this match. De Jong, though, is incredibly skilled and has exceptional midfield stabilising abilities. In this match, his vision and passing may be essential in breaking through the Red Devils’ defence.
#2 Robert Lewandowski vs Lisandro Martinez
Robert Lewandowski is one of the names that springs to mind when discussing strikers with exceptional technical ability. The Polish international has made 29 appearances for Barcelona this season, scoring 24 goals and dishing out six assists.
It’s challenging to keep track of his attacks, so Lisandro Martinez will have his work cut out for him.
Martinez, though, has been a strong member of the backline this season and is an active defender. It is uncertain whether he will be able to conceal Lewandowski during this encounter.
#1 Marcus Rashford vs Jules Kounde
Marcus Rashford, perhaps one of the best strikers in football, has been effective in attack this year. In his first 36 games, the Englishman has put up 24 goals and nine assists.
It’s still difficult to keep track of his moves in the final third since he has the speed and incredible dribbling ability to completely demolish a defence. Jules Kounde will have his work cut out for him because of his outstanding vision in the latter third of the pitch.
In order to limit Rashford’s attacking danger, Kounde will be essential at right-back because of his outstanding defensive performance.