Marcus Rashford takes part in a Champions League training session

Early team news for United v Barca at Old Trafford

Friday 05 April 2019 07:00

The next five days could go a long way in deciding which players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has at his disposal for Wednesday night's mouthwatering UEFA Champions League tie against FC Barcelona.

Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera both missed the Reds' Premier League defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers and fans will hope both are fit for the biggest fixture of our campaign so far.

Rashford was rendered unavailable for the midweek trip to Molineux due to a fresh ankle injury. The young forward had to withdraw from the England squad last month with a similar issue, but Solskjaer told Sky Sports that Marcus has now hurt "a different ankle, it’s not the same ankle luckily. Hopefully we can mend him for the next game.”

When are Barca next in action?

Ernesto Valverde's La Liga leaders are preparing to host second-placed Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp on Saturday, in a blockbuster that should dictate who wins the Spanish title.

As for Herrera, he picked up a knock which kept him out of the Wolves game and it remains to be seen whether he'll be involved against the champions of his native Spain.

The midfielder is seeking only his third European appearance of the season, to add to his outings against Juventus away in November and Paris Saint-Germain in February.

Four other players who were ruled out for Tuesday's match in the Midlands were Matteo Darmian, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly and former Barcelona player Alexis Sanchez.

Darmian and Valencia have not featured for the Reds since January while Bailly has missed both of United's games, Watford and Wolves, since the international break, when he reportedly suffered a head injury whilst on duty with the Ivory Coast.

As for Alexis, the Chilean was tipped for a mid-to-late April return when he was hurt in the home win over Southampton at the beginning of March.

Meanwhile, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young will be available to face Barcelona in our quarter-final first leg, due to their Premier League suspensions not applying to European competitions.

Shaw's two-match ban, for receiving his 10th yellow card of the season, will instead begin against West Ham on Saturday 13 April, while Young will also be sidelined for that game due to his dismissal at Wolves.

The boss could provide a further update on injuries in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Coming up today

United will train in front of the media at the Aon Training Complex on Tuesday from 11:00 BST, before Solskjaer and a player hold a press conference at Old Trafford from 14:00 BST.


As for the visitors, French winger Ousmane Dembélé could be available for selection. The pacey 21-year-old has resumed training after missing the last four games in La Liga with a hamstring injury.

Ernesto Valverde's side remain without central midfielder Rafinha for the rest of the campaign after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Atletico Madrid last November.

Barcelona are in flying form, having not lost a game of football since mid-January's first-leg loss to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals - even then, they won the second leg 6-1 to still go through.

Barcelona in Manchester

Our opponents will land in time for their press conference at the Theatre of Dreams from 17:00 BST. The La Liga leaders will then train on the pitch at 18:00 BST.

When it comes to La Liga, they have not tasted defeat since 11 November against Real Betis and that unbeaten run was preserved in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night, when they produced a spirited comeback against Villareal. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez delivered moments of brilliance in stoppage time to drag Barcelona from 4-2 down to draw 4-4.

Unlike United, Barca will be in action again this weekend, as they host their nearest challengers in La Liga, Atletico Madrid, at the Nou Camp on Saturday evening.

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