On the face of it, both sets of supporters can be pleased with their team’s efforts in the first leg of this Champions League quarter final on Wednesday.
From the perspective of a Manchester United fan, the 0-1 defeat does not mean they are out of the tie. It does mean they may have to score twice or more at the Nou Camp, assuming the home side find the net once again, but it’ not impossible, that’s for sure.
As for Barcelona, they managed to achieve the one thing that most teams want from an away leg of a Champions League: scoring one of those all-important away goals. The clean sheet was the icing on the cake.
The first leg at Old Trafford was a cagey affair with either team showing their usual attacking zest. Lionel Messi was strangely subdued, and it was left to his attacking teammate, Luis Suarez, to settle the game. He rose highest to head towards goal, and a deflection off United defender Luke Shaw sent the ball into the back of the net.
It is perhaps testament to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s respect for the Catalan giants that he surrendered 67% possession of the ball to them, at Old Trafford of all places, and the new Manchester United manager could only watch on as his team failed to register a single shot on target.
And that’s the downside to playing defensively at home: United now have to go to Camp Nou and find a goal, possibly two, to progress from this tie to the Champions League semi-finals.
It’s a tall order, so can they do it? The FC Barcelona vs Manchester United odds have been released, so let’s see how the bookies think the second leg in Barcelona on April 16 will pan out.
1. FC Barcelona vs Manchester United Betting Odds
The bookmakers believe that Barcelona are in the box seat for this contest, and they hand Messi and co an overwhelming advantage in both of the key markets.
First up, let’s take a look at this second leg in isolation. Here you’ll find Barcelona available at odds of 1.44 to get the win, Manchester United at 7.00 and the draw at 4.50.
And then we can take a look at the odds in the ‘to qualify’ market, where Barcelona are as short as 1.10, with United at 7.00.
2. FC Barcelona vs Manchester United Predictions
The first leg was such a strange game that it is hard to know how to analyse it.
Manchester United looked petrified of their opponents at times, and appeared worried to break out of their stubborn system that kept plenty of players behind the ball.
Maybe that stifled Barcelona in some way, because they certainly weren’t at their attacking best either. But they did enough to get the win, and the margin of victory could have been even greater had Messi and Philippe Coutinho taken their chances that were saved by David de Gea.
Everyone associated with Manchester United will be thinking back to the Round of 16 of the Champions League, where they beat PSG 2-0 at their formidable Parc des Princes home. But let’s be honest here, Barcelona are a better side than PSG, their home stadium is more of a fortress AND the English team have only won once there in their whole history.
So no, it doesn’t look good.
What’s your prediction?
Manchester United will win 0%
Of course, the first of our FC Barcelona vs Manchester United predictions is that Barcelona will qualify for a semi-final against either Liverpool or Porto. They will play much better at the Camp Nou, and as soon as they score then United’s dreams are all but dashed.
There are other problems for Solskjaer to solve as well. Luke Shaw will be suspended for the second leg, while the likes of Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic, so integral to the United midfield, are struggling with injuries.
Assuming Lionel Messi’s nose injury isn’t as bad as it looked following his collision with Chris Smalling, Barcelona will essentially be at full strength apart from long-term absentee Rafinha, and with such a strong squad anyway they have to be fancied to complete the job on home soil.
So to sign off our FC Barcelona vs Manchester United betting tips, we have a strong inkling that the home team will win well on Tuesday. So, we’re taking Barcelona with a -1 handicap at odds of 2.10.
3. Where to get live streaming of this event?
Not all of us have the possibility to watch this match online. There are some other ways of course.
Register at 1XBET, which is a bookmaker, and get access to their live streaming feature. It is completely free and possibly this match will be on their schedule.