Predicted Manchester United side to play Barcelona: Martial benched; McTominay to start

Games do not come much bigger than this. Manchester United and Barcelona go head-to-head this evening in the Champions League quarter-final and Old Trafford will be buzzing.

The feel-good factor remains following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment. However, United need to put recent disappointments behind them, losing twice in the league and falling short in the FA Cup.

The problem for United is that Barcelona are in scintillating form. Yet if the Red Devils can’t motivate themselves for this fixture, they should pack up and go home.
Quite simply, it is nights like this that United are all about.

(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Solskjaer has some decisions to make regarding his starting XI.  Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez trained yesterday but only the former is expected to feature from the outset.
Centrally, there are doubts over Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera but, given the magnitude of the game, expect one if not both to kick things off.


The defence picks itself with David de Gea likely to play behind Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw.

Further forward, Scott McTominay is more than capable of filling in if Herrera or Matic don’t make it.

The youngster was superb in the last round and he has come on massively this season.

The big decision could come in terms of attack. Rashford’s selection is a no-brainer but there are plenty of other options.

£36m (BBC) signing Anthony Martial has disappointed recently, and it may be smart to go with a stronger option in Romelu Lukaku, especially at home.

That leaves Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata to fight it out for the final spot.

Below is how we predict United will line up this week:

Goal: De Gea
Defence: Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw
Midfield: Herrera, Pogba, McTominay
Attack: Lingard, Rashford, Lukaku

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Vincent is the Senior Managing Editor of Freshered. He was previously Head of Sixth Form at a secondary school in Kent, where he worked with hundreds of 16 to 19-year-olds over eight years.