Man United v Barcelona Tips: Can Solskjaer’s men keep Messi quiet?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer oversaw a minor miracle as Man United overcame PSG in the last-16 of the Champions League five weeks ago. Tonight he faces the biggest test of his credentials so far as Lionel Messi and Barcelona pitch up at Old Trafford.
Can United bag a memorable first-leg victory? Or will Barca’s superstars come out to play in the first act of this two-legged quarter-final battle? We’ve previewed the match with our CL Tips.
Form goes to one side on a night like this. Old Trafford will be rocking even after United’s recent run of three defeats in four. Our traders have them down at 27/10 to win the match.
Barcelona are odds-on at 19/20, although with the firepower they have at their disposal they look a more attractive prospect with goals in the game. The visitors to Win with Over 2.5 Goals is 15/8.
Alternatively, it’s 14/1 for Barca to win the match 3-1. Reckon it’ll be tighter? We’ve got United to escape with a first-leg Draw priced up at 5/2, while a 1-1 stalemate at 6/1.
Solskjaer delivered a tactical masterstroke in Paris. He requires another one to keep Messi and Luis Suarez quiet tonight. The pair will line-up in a front three alongside Philippe Coutinho.
Ivan Rakitic will be charged with pulling the strings in midfield, while Arturo Vidal is expected to return after missing the weekend win over Atletico Madrid through suspension.
His battle with ex-Juventus teammate Paul Pogba should be one to savour. The Frenchman will sit alongside Scott McTominay in a defensive midfield two. Both of them will need to be on their game.
Romelu Lukaku should get the nod up-front after his brace against PSG. Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and either Diogo Dalot or Anthony Martial will provide support behind.
There’s no better place to start than Messi. The Argentine wizard has 10 goals in his last six matches and is 5/2 to Score First or 7/2 to Score 2 or More for the 12th time this season.
Our second shout goes to Coutinho, who is a 7/2 chance Anytime. At a bigger price ex-United man Gerard Pique is 7/1 to add to his two goals in this season’s competition.
Lukaku is the 2/1 favourite to score Anytime for the hosts, although it’s Rashford who’s made a name for himself on these big occasions. We have him slightly further back at 5/2.
Midfielder Pogba is another who has excelled under Solskjaer. He’s 13/5 Anytime or 15/2 to Score First for what would be the seventh time this season.
Where: Old Trafford.
When: 8:00pm, Wednesday 10th April.
How to watch: BT Sport 2.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication