Barcelona vs. Manchester United prediction: Europa League pick, odds

Two of soccer’s most famous clubs will meet at one of its most iconic venues on Thursday afternoon. Barcelona and Manchester United tied, 2-2, in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 matchup last week. Now, the scene shifts to Old Trafford, where the Red Devils are a -160 favorite to advance and sit at +125 to win inside 90 minutes.

And while it’s no surprise that United is the favorite at home considering its form at the moment, this price does seem to be underestimating Barcelona, which has put up elite numbers since Xavi took over as manager in the middle of last season.

Barcelona vs. Manchester United prediction

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Not only is Barcelona running away with the La Liga title, but it’s doing it in style. The Catalan giants have lost just four matches across all competitions and those defeats came at the hands of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich (twice) and Inter Milan. Barça hasn’t lost a match since Oct. 26.

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Xavi Hernandez
Xavi Hernandez
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Barcelona’s reputation is always that of a team that is built on free-flowing, attacking soccer, but these days it’s the defense that drives the bus for this side. It has allowed a ridiculous seven goals in 22 La Liga matches this season — the best mark in Europe’s Big 5 leagues by a wide margin — and only Roma has conceded fewer expected goals than the Catalans in domestic play.

Manchester United’s offense is rolling and it was able to score twice at Camp Nou, but Barcelona’s defense makes it a live underdog on Thursday at a good price.

Barcelona vs. Manchester United pick

Barcelona +210 (FanDuel)