Tuesday, February 21, 2023

European Preview

Manchester United v Barcelona (Champions League)

Liverpool will hope to continue the momentum of two consecutive Premier League victories when the Reds host Real Madrid in Champions League Tuesday. Los Blancos are 14-time winners of the European championship and defeated Liverpool 1-0 in last year’s Champions League final. Real Madrid began slowly in La Liga this season but have slotted in behind first place Barcelona in the La Liga table. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema has scored 10 goals across all competitions since the World Cup break. Liverpool has had a rocky domestic season, still languishing in eighth position in the Premier League table despite winning its last two domestic contests.  

RB Leipzig v Manchester City (Champions League)

Manchester City travels to Germany to face RB Leipzig on Wednesday. The Citizens will try to shake off a disappointing weekend where they fell from the top of the Premier League table by drawing with Nottingham Forest. R B Leipzig is currently fifth in the Bundesliga. Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku made a substitute appearance last weekend after having missed substantial time with a knee injury. Nkunku, who remains second in Bundesliga scoring with 12 goals this season, is widely expected to sign with Premier League club Chelsea this coming summer.

Manchester United v Barcelona (Europa League)

Manchester United hosts Barcelona on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League tie. The sides played to a 2-2 draw in Spain last week. Both clubs are enjoying restorative seasons on the field after troubled waters the last few seasons. Manchester United is unbeaten in its last 17 matches at home across all competitions while Barcelona have won their last nine matches away from home. The Red Devils will hope Marcus Rashford, a goal scorer in the opening leg, continues his recent best in Europe form. Barcelona, La Liga leaders this season, will be missing their entire starting midfield due to injury for the Old Trafford match. 

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