Barcelona vs Man United Odds, Pick | Europa League Betting Preview (Feb. 16)
Alex Caparros/Getty. Pictured: Ansu Fati.
Barcelona vs. Man United Odds
Man United Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-115 / -105)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-140 / +115)|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Two of the biggest clubs in the world meet in the knockout playoff stage of the Europa League as Barcelona host Manchester United.
Barcelona are flying high at the moment, unbeaten out of the World Cup break and sitting eight points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table.
Since they couldn’t get out of their Champions League group with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, they now have to try and win the Europa League, which they failed to do last season.
Manchester United are in a massive pile up of fixtures, but have played well through the chaos, moving within seven points of league leader Arsenal in the Premier League.
They finished behind Real Sociedad in their Europa League group, which is why they find themselves in the knockout playoff round against one of the best teams in the world.
Barcelona Playing at Their Top Level
Barcelona have been flying under Xavi this season in La Liga and have some of the most impressive underlying metrics in all of Europe. They currently have a +1.27 xGD per 90 minutes mark in Spain, which is the second best number in Europe’s top five leagues, only short of Manchester City.
Barcelona have put a stranglehold on possession, and when they do lose the ball, they counter-press at an elite level to ensure teams aren’t able to easily build out of the back against them. That will come in handy against Manchester United, who have been a tad poor in buildup play against good pressing teams.
Barcelona are averaging 63.6% possession, 18.95 10+ pass sequences per 90 minutes, 81.4 progressive passes + dribbles per 90 minutes and 20.6 box entries. All of those are the best mark in La Liga, per fbref.com.
With Barcelona controlling so much possession, they’ve also been one of the best defensive teams across Europe. They’ve only allowed seven total goals in 21 matches in La Liga and are only allowing 0.78 npxG per 90 minutes.
Man United Ready to Defend Away From Home
Manchester United are in a great run of form at the moment with their only loss since the World Cup break coming against Arsenal at the Emirates without Casemiro.
He has also been so important for Manchester United defensively. They are only allowing 0.80 xG per 90 minutes with Casemiro in the lineup and without him they’re allowing 1.65 xG per 90 minutes. He’s missed the last two Premier League matches against Leeds United due to red card suspension, but he will be back for this match.
The game plan for Erik Ten Hag is going to be simple. Manchester United are going to sit deep in their patented low block and look to counter Barcelona. In the Premier League this season, Manchester United’s average defensive line is 41.31 yards from the goals, which is the third-deepest in England. However, they have done a good job against teams like Manchester City at closing off the middle of the pitch and forcing teams to play out wide.
With that being said, the injuries are starting to stack up for the Red Devils. Marcel Sabitzer, Antony, Christian Eriksen, Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial and Lisandro Martinez are all slated to miss this encounter.
Barcelona vs. Man United Pick
This is a perfect matchup for Barcelona, who are one of the more possession-dominant teams you’ll find. Manchester United aren’t going to provide much resistance to allow Barcelona into the final third, but Xavi is not going to fall into the same trap as Pep Guardiola did and will utilize space out wide to stretch Barcelona’s defense with his 4-2-4 build up shape.
For one of the best teams in the world to only be -130 at home against Manchester United with the amount of injuries they have at the moment is far too low.
I have Barcelona projected at -217, so I love the value on them to get a win in the first leg at -130.
Pick: Barcelona ML (-130 via DraftKings)
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