Old Trafford.

Your essential guide to United v Barcelona

Friday 05 April 2019 10:46

Manchester United renew acquaintances with Barcelona at Old Trafford on Wednesday night for the first leg of our eagerly awaited Champions League quarter-final.

A place in the semi-finals of Europe's elite competition is at stake for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side if we can navigate our way past the La Liga leaders.  

After securing a place in the quarter-finals with an outstanding away-goals victory over Paris Saint-Germain that saw the Reds fight back to win 3-1 at the Parc des Princes, United will be looking to gain the advantage in the first leg of the tie before travelling to the Nou Camp for the second leg on 16 April. 

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Wednesday's anticipated showdown...

United v Barcelona: Key match details

Wednesday 10 April | Champions League | Old Trafford | 20:00 BST kick-off | Live build-up on MUTV from 18:30 BST


The big match kicks off at 20:00 BST on Wednesday night and it will be shown live on BT Sport 2 in the UK. MUTV subscribers will be able to follow live build-up ahead of the match from 18:30 BST, and you can also follow our usual coverage on ManUtd.com and in the official Manchester United App, which is available for download here.


With eight days in between our Premier League match at Wolves and the Barcelona game, Solskjaer's men should be well rested for the challenge of taking on the Catalans. Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia weren’t pictured by the media in the part of Tuesday’s training session open to the media, but Marcus Rashford, Alexis Sanchez and Matteo Darmian were involved.

“We still hope maybe that Nemanja [Matic] can be ready,” Ole told reporters in his press conference on Tuesday. “Ander [is] probably out but Eric [Bailly] and Antonio [Valencia are] definitely out, yeah. Marcus [Rashford] needed an extra warm-up – hopefully he won't get a reaction,” said Ole. “He joined parts of it at the end but he couldn’t join the boxes which is the fun part of training. Let's see tomorrow [Wednesday], hopefully he'll be ready. It was Alexis’s first session today with the team. He did lots of recovery work which is injury-free. He will probably be in the squad for West Ham on Saturday but is not going to be able to join in tomorrow.” Luke Shaw and Ashley Young will both be available against Barcelona as their upcoming Premier League suspensions do not apply in European competitions.


The visitors named a 22-man travelling squad on Monday, which included French winger Ousmane Dembele, who has resumed training after missing the last four games in La Liga with a hamstring injury. One man who is definitely out is former Arsenal centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, who has discomfort in his leg. Nelson Semedo is one yellow card away from a one-match European ban, while fellow defender Clément Lenglet played against the Reds for Sevilla in the competition last season. Central midfielder Rafinha is out for the rest of the campaign after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Atletico Madrid back in November. Lionel Messi has been nursing an injury which caused him to miss Argentina's recent international fixtures. 


Ernesto Valverde became Barcelona’s head coach back in the summer of 2017 and saw his team win both the league and the Copa del Rey in his first season in charge. Before Barcelona, Valverde managed Athletic Bilbao, leading them to their first silverware in 31 years when they won the Supercopa de España by beating Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate in the final. The 55-year-old also coached Valencia, Olympiacos, Villarreal and Espanyol. He has won 73, drawn 24 and lost only nine of his 106 games in charge. 

Did you know?

Lionel Messi has scored 22 goals in 30 previous appearances against English clubs - the most he's netted against teams from a single country other than Spain.


The Spanish champions are currently sitting top of La Liga and on a 15-game unbeaten run in all competitions, heading into Saturday's crucial top-of-the-table clash against Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp. Their 4-4 draw against Villarreal ended a seven-match winning streak. On the road, Barcelona are unbeaten in eight away games in all competitions, winning five and drawing three, and they have lost only three of their 23 games away from home this season, winning 14 and drawing six. 


The quarter-final first-leg clash at Old Trafford will be the 12th meeting between the two giants. We have won on three occasions, Barca have triumphed four times and there have been four draws. However, in the past four meetings between the two teams, United have only managed to get the better of Barcelona once - when a memorable Paul Scholes strike earned a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in the Champions League semi-final second leg to send us to the final in Moscow in 2008. Two of Barca’s victories against United came in Champions League finals in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

One to watch

While Lionel Messi poses an obvious threat, his striking partner Luis Suarez has netted 22 goals this season, making him Barca’s second highest scorer behind Messi.


Overall, United have reached the quarter-finals of the competition 13 times, managing to reach the next stage on seven occasions. The last time we reached this stage was in 2014, when we were beaten 4-2 on aggregate by Bayern Munich. 


UEFA has confirmed that Gianluca Rocchi will be the man in the middle on Wednesday night. The experienced 45-year-old will take charge of his sixth game involving United, who have won three and lost two of the previous five. The most high-profile game was the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid in Skopje in 2017, while the most recent match was our 2-1 home win over CSKA Moscow in last season's Champions League group stage. He will lead a team of Italian officials, which includes assistant referees Filippo Meli and Matteo Passeri, and fourth official Daniele Orsato. As was the case for both legs of our last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain, Italian pair Massimiliano Irrati and Marco Guida will operate as the Video Assistant Referee and Assistant Video Assistant Referee respectively.

How we beat Barcelona in 2008 Video

How we beat Barcelona in 2008

See what happened when we last played Barcelona over two legs, back in the 2008 Champions League semi-finals...


As well as United, three other English teams remain in the Champions League. On Tuesday, Liverpool host FC Porto at Anfield while, on the same night, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City meet at Spurs' new stadium. On Wednesday, Juventus travel to the Johan Cruijff Arena to face Ajax, who stunned Real Madrid in the last round of the competition.

You can see the full list of fixtures below...

Liverpool v FC Porto
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City

Ajax v Juventus
UNITED v Barcelona

All ties kick off at 20:00 BST.

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