Europa League last 16 preview: Barcelona vs. Manchester United

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Barcelona vs. Manchester United is the most anticipated matchup in quarterfinals and should provide memorable moments.

We preview three of the best ties of the captivating first knockout round.

Barcelona v Manchester United

The La Liga leaders go into this tie as the overwhelming favourites at 3/4 and will expect to beat a Manchester United side that have struggled in Europe for the last four seasons. That being said, Erik ten Hag has rejuvenated this United side with a number of progressive signings and a show of discipline that has been lacking at Old Trafford for some time.

Though the Red Devils are the underdogs at 17/5, they will back themselves to continue their current league form and really take the game to Barcelona and ignite one of the classic fixtures we were used to seeing in the hay day of European football in the 90s and early 2000s.

Barcelona have a significant goal threat with the likes of Robert Lewandowski and can expect to have a lot of chances with their creative midfield of Pedri and Gavi. Barcelona to win, Lewandowski to score first, and over two goals scored in the fixture is 6/1 and looks to offers great value.

How could we preview this tie without mentioning the man of the hour, Marcus Rashford? United’s MVP of the last few months is 15/2 to score, assisted by either Bruno Fernandes or Jadon Sancho and we suggest you snap this opportunity up as quickly as possible.

Check out all the latest football betting odds at William Hill 

Ajax v Union Berlin

The side surprising German football with their exceptional rise to prominence over the last few seasons, Union Berlin have eclipsed their incredible 2021/22 season and now sit in second place in the Bundesliga, one point behind the league leaders Bayern Munich.

They are however the underdogs in this tie at 14/5, perhaps due to their inexperience in European tournaments, but based on their form in the league this season, they can easily get a result against the side third in the Dutch league.

Ajax are 19/20 for the win, but many sceptics will highlight the quality of the Eredivisie compared to the Bundesliga and that the consistent level needed to produce in the Bundesliga that Berlin are reaching could give them the advantage in the midst of the highly pressured environment that is the Europa League.

Both teams to score is 4/5 and a price that will offer a decent return for a likely occurrence. It will probably be a closely fought tie, and due to the nature of the knockout stage, we could see a lot of goals, shots and a fiercely fought battle. It is 13/2 that we witness over two goals, over three cards and over 10 corners.

Check out all the latest football betting odds at William Hill 

Bayer Leverkusen v Monaco

Bayer Leverkusen are eighth in the Bundesliga after a poor start to the season that has seen them fall away from their threatening form of 2021/22. It may be a tough match for the German side that come up against a Monaco that have been threatening the top two sides in Ligue 1 for a number of years now, but at 19/20 the odds suggest otherwise.

However, reality could spell a slightly different narrative as the French side Monaco have been known for their incredible European runs. At 27/10 to triumph, they aren’t expected to come through the match with the scoreline on their side but their odds in their incredible 2016/17 Champions League which saw them reach the semi-final, would have been similar.

In other words, don’t write off this plucky side that could pull something out of the bag at any time. Judging by the playing style of the two teams this season, the match could be a game of attrition as both teams sit back and try to force mistakes. Both teams to score is 4/6, while the match to witness under 0.5 goals comes in at 9/1.

As the tension of the Europa League affects the players, we could see the teams turn to tactical fouls and a less bold and attacking play style. A score of 1-1 looks to be the most likely at 6/1.

Check out all the latest football betting odds at William Hill 


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