Marcus to leave Barcelona in a Rash
Manchester United and Barcelona are set to do battle once more in an extremely finely poised second leg of their UEFA Europa League knockout play-off at Old Trafford on Thursday night. The opening game finished 2-2, with Erik ten Hag's men leading for a significant period of the game at the Camp Nou, only to be pegged back 15 minutes from time. The second occasion promises to be similarly pulsating. Read our preview here:
On the Dalot
The Red Devils prepared for the clash of giants by easily dispatching Leicester City 3-0 on home soil at the weekend, with Marcus Rashford yet again among the goals. The England international has bagged seven in his last six outings, easing any pressure on Burnley loanee Wout Weghorst in the process. Bruno Fernandes has again excelled with the creative burden largely on his shoulders, whilst Diogo Dalot has quietly been carving out his own niche on the right side of the back four. The versatile 23 year old looks in great form and well equipped to stop Ansu Fati drifting inside off his flank.
To be Franck
The combination of Pedri's injury and Gavi's suspension will be rued in the Blaugrana dressing room; the young duo are now the heartbeat of Xavi's side, and their absences could surrender control of the tempo to the hosts. Franck Kessié has had a decidedly underwhelming season against the backdrop of rumours he needs to be sold to help combat the punitive financial measures imposed on the club as a whole, coupled with having to bide his time for an extended run in the side. Frenkie de Jong was similarly disappointing in Catalonia last week when faced with the side who still seek his signature. Ousmane Dembélé remains out, so much of the focus will be on Raphinha's not inconsiderate box of tricks to support the evergreen Robert Lewandowski in attacking situations.
The omens are once more excellent for Rashford to get another goal to add to his burgeoning tally, with Casumo's odds of 2.55 for him to score anytime looking well priced.