//Home advantage key for Barca

Home advantage key for Barca

Barcelona host Manchester United in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg and home advantage may well prove to be crucial.

The Blaugrana came up against a well-organised United in the first leg at Old Trafford a week ago, and they had to rely on an own goal from Luke Shaw to win.

Taking a 1-0 advantage back to Barcelona, Ernesto Valverde’s men will be confident of making that away goal count as they seek a first Champions League crown since 2015.

Barcelona sit comfortably clear at the top of the La Liga standings and Valverde was afforded the luxury of rotating his starting XI against Huesca on Saturday.

Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets were left out of the squad completely, while Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez missed out through suspension.

In contrast, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes as United edged out West Ham 2-1 on Saturday.

The Red Devils still face a battle to finish in the top four in the Premier League and Solskjaer knows he can’t afford to favour one competition over the other.

United’s record at Barcelona doesn’t make for pleasant reading either, having failed to win in four previous visits – losing two and drawing two.

And despite United receiving plenty of praise for containing Barcelona in Manchester, they failed to register a single shot on target for the first time in a Champions League game since March 2005.

Undoubtedly, Solskjaer has brought excitement and optimism back to the club – most notably with the impressive turnaround against Paris Saint-Germain in the previous round – but they are far from the finished article and Barcelona should take advantage.

They know a draw will be enough to see them through to the last four and their impressive home record in Europe suggests they will fine.

Bayern Munich were the last team to land a defeat on the Spanish giants back in May 2013 – a run which stretches back 30 games.

An early goal for Barcelona, who are priced at 13/4 to be leading after 15 minutes, is likely to open the game up as United go chasing the tie and goals are expected in the Catalan capital.

Barcelona have scored at least two in their last two home meetings with United and they are priced at 4/11 to score 2+ on Tuesday.

2019-04-15T16:58:49+00:00 April 15th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |