Heavyweight European clash awaits: What’s in store for Manchester United this week

Manchester United have two fixtures on the horizon this week in both the Europa League and Premier League. 

The Red Devils have lost just one game since November 6, with momentum building on every single positive result and performance that swings the Reds’ way.

This week provides games for Erik ten Hag’s side to test themselves against two in-form clubs.

Thursday, February 16: Barcelona vs Manchester United (A), Europa League. Kick-off: 5.45 pm. 

First up for United is a trip to Spain to take on a rampant Barcelona side at Camp Nou. Xavi has his men in exceptional form this season; they currently sit firmly on top of the La Liga table with an 11-point lead over rivals Real Madrid. Barcelona have lost just one league match this campaign and are currently on a 16-game unbeaten streak.

Marcel Sabitzer and Lisandro Martinez will miss the fixture through suspension.

The two European heavyweights meet for a Europa League Round of 16 play-off clash. The two-legged tie is a nuisance for both sides given their already packed fixture schedule, but the managers will know the trophy is a realistic prospect of silverware whilst they continue to build their respective projects. The last time the clubs faced was in April 2019, though things have drastically changed for both teams since then.

The reverse fixture will take place the following week on February 23, meaning United will have the Old Trafford faithful roaring them on for the second leg of the tie.

Sunday, February 19: Manchester United vs Leicester City (H), Premier League. Kick-off: 2 pm.

Leicester are on the back of a 4-1 thrashing against Tottenham Hotspur, a result which significantly dampened Spurs’ top-four pursuit. After a dismal start to the campaign that saw them spend several weeks in the relegation zone, the Foxes have undergone a resurgence under Brendan Rodgers and now look safe from the drop as they sit in 13th place.

The Reds are currently in third place, two points behind Manchester City and five points behind league leaders Arsenal. The two clubs meet for the first time this league season on Wednesday – a match that United will be paying close attention to due to its significance in the title race.

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