Can Man United Pull off Another Upset Against Barcelona?

Can Man United Pull off Another Upset Against Barcelona?

More than any other club, Manchester United has a history of come-from-behind upset wins in the UEFA Champions League.

In 1999, United famously scored two goals in injury time to defeat German giant Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Current United manager  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored the second of those goals in ’99. 

Under Solskjaer’s leadership, United have rediscovered the spirit of the 90s, most notably in the round of 16 of this year’s Champions League, when they overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat PSG 3-1 in the second leg in Paris and progress to the next round.

Manchester United the Underdog Against Barcelona

It will only get more difficult for Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the 2018-19 Champions League, given their opponent is Barcelona. United heads into the first leg at Old Trafford on April 10 as a clear underdog in sports betting odds

United have won 15 of 20 games in all competitions since Solskjaer took over as manager from Jose Mourinho in December. The Red Devils have been in superb form in domestic and European competition, but it will take an unbelievable effort for Solskjaer’s men to achieve an upset victory over the modern-day European football powerhouse that is Barcelona. 

The good news is fans can get great odds on United when taking up the Totesport welcome offer. United is 2/1 to qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League, while Barcelona is the favourite to qualify at 4/11. United is an even bigger underdog in first leg betting, with Totesport paying 5/2 for a United win, evens for a Barcelona win, and 11/5 for a draw. The most likely result is a 1-1 draw, for which Totesport is paying 11/2 odds.

What Must United Do to Upset Barcelona?

What must Manchester United do to defeat Barcelona? The simplest answer is to keep doing what they’ve been doing under Solskjaer, meaning the type of free-flowing football they played for almost three decades under Sir Alex Ferguson and that disappeared during Mourinho’s tenure.

Manchester United has averaged more than two goals per game under Solskjaer’s supervision. More importantly, they have only failed get on the scoreboard in three matches – and interestingly all three of those matches were at home. The aim for United should be to get a goal or two at home in the first leg and prevent Barcelona and their superstar Lionel Messi from winning. If United can achieve a win or a draw at Old Trafford, it will go into the second leg at Barcelona’s Camp Nou full of confidence that it can repeat the comeback heroics from the previous round. 

Solskjaer Will be Praying for No Injuries

The other things Manchester United need to go right are injuries and the Pogba factor. Solskjaer has admitted to having face-to-face talks with his star midfielder Paul Pogba over speculation about Pogba wanting to move to Real Madrid. The manager must make sure the talk over Pogba doesn’t take over the dressing room ahead of the big date with Barcelona.

United’s injury list threatened to get out of control in March, but the only players now still in the medical room are Alexis Sanchez, Matteo Darmian, and Antonio Valencia. The Red Devils get an eight-day break between their Premier League match at Wolves on April 2 and the first leg with Barcelona on April 10. If they can keep a clean bill of health, it will go a long way to helping them in their aim of upsetting Barcelona.

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