Manchester United are preparing for a huge match this week as they take on Barcelona in the first leg of their Europa League clash. The Red Devils head into their meeting in fine form, however the Catalan giants will be brimming with confidence as they sit six points clear at the top of La Liga.
United’s previous record against Barcelona certainly doesn’t move in their favour, having lost their past four matches against the Spaniards. Their Champions League tie in April 2019 ended in a 3-0 defeat, having already lost 1-0 on home soil.
Here are the latest news headlines from Old Trafford...
Christian Eriksen update
Christian Eriksen has offered fans an update on his injury this week. The midfielder picked up an injury in United’s FA Cup win over Reading last month and was expected to be sidelined until late April or early May.
Erik ten Hag was left with limited options in midfield with both Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay also on the treatment table, before going onto snap up Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich to add to his squad depth.
Eriksen turned 31 years old on Valentines Day and the Dane responded to the Red Devils’ birthday message on Twitter with a positive reaction to his recovery. He tweeted: Thank you. I’ll be back before you know it.”
Eriksen has been exceptional for United since joining on a free transfer in the summer, picking up seven assists in the Premier League.
‘Confident’ Amad Diallo
Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray has heaped praise on Amad Diallo as he continues his impressive loan spell in the Championship. The Ivorian has been a key player for the Black Cats this season as they sit within the play-offs, picking up nine goal contributions so far.
Speaking to Sunderland TV, Mowbray said: “I think we look so dangerous with Amad and Pat [Patrick Roberts] down this side. Amad coming on; he is so confident. He is almost cocky with the ball, isn’t he?
“Yet there is a fine margin between confidence and arrogance and I think he gets that just about right. He does the job for his team and he can hurt people in this league.”
Amad’s stint on Wearside is his second loan spell since joining United in 2021, however his time with Rangers during the 2021-22 campaign was less successful. The 20-year-old also struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford following his €25 million move from Atalanta - managing only eight appearances in all competitions.