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Five things spotted in Manchester United training ahead of Barcelona encounter



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Credit: Man Utd

Manchester United are preparing to face Barcelona at Old Trafford in the Europa League after their 2-2 draw in Spain last week.

The game at the Camp Nou was a brilliant spectacle and the perfect match for the neutral. Erik ten Hag will be hoping to progress into the round-of-16 ahead of United’s trip to Wembley for the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle on the weekend.

United were missing several players in Barcelona. Lisandro Martinez, Marcel Sabitzer and Scott McTominay are back available after returning from suspension and injury.

The likelihood of Antony and Anthony Martial being available again is unknown. Ten Hag will conduct his pre-match press conference on Wednesday afternoon where he could provide updates on the attacking duo.

United have been hard at work in training ahead of the game. Here are five things that were spotted at Carrington ahead of the Europa League clash.

Lisandro Martinez is back

The Argentine defender is now back in action and he looks focused on the task at hand.

He was replaced by Luke Shaw in the centre against the Spanish side last week and will likely link up with the Englishman this time around, with Shaw expected to move back to his natural position on the left.

The return of Martinez will give United fans even more confidence ahead of the game.

Lisandro Martinez (left) and Jadon Sancho (right) in training (Man Utd)

Midfield boost for Ten Hag

After weeks of walking on a tightrope, United finally have some midfield options going into a fixture.

The returns of Scott McTominay and Marcel Sabitzer mean that there are four available midfield players to operate in the pivot.

Sabitzer’s return to the squad is an anticipated one, with the Austrian yet to play alongside Casemiro.

Marcel Sabizter in training (Man Utd)

Meanwhile, McTominay had a positive return to the squad last time out, helping United to see out the win against The Foxes. His stature and energy could be useful against Barca from the bench on Thursday.

Scott McTomainy in training (Man Utd)

Casemiro and Raphaël Varane excited

The former Real Madrid duo are both fresh and ready ahead of this encounter. Casemiro was suspended for the win against Leicester City, whilst Raphaël Varane was rested.

They know all too much about fierce encounters against Barcelona and will be eager to get one over their former rivals.

However; they are relaxed and in high spirits ahead of the game. One picture snapped from training will warm the hearts of United fans, as the pair share a laugh amid the hard work.

Casemiro is happy to see Raphael Varane (Man Utd)
The pair sharing a laugh in training (Man Utd)

The Brazilian was also pictured whilst taking a fierce strike at goal. A long-range stunner from the midfielder would be an absolute treat for Old Trafford. He’s not one to shy away from a 30-yard effort either…

Casemiro taking strike in training (Man Utd)

Youngsters involved

As usual, Ten Hag had some academy prospects involved with the Carrington session ahead of the tie.

This is something that the manager has done since coming into the club; regularly bringing different youth talents up to the first-team training to monitor their development.

In this training session, Dan Gore, Teden Mengi and Toby Collyer joined up with the first-team.

Teden Mengi (third from left) and Toby Collyer (right) were involved in training (Man Utd)
Dan Gore staying hydrated in training (Man Utd)

Collyer joined the club last year as a highly rated talent from Brighton. He turned 17 last month.

Gore was an integral part of the FA Youth Cup win last season. Both play in midfield.

Mengi had an injury set-back in December after pulling up in United’s friendly game against Real Betis.

Of course, Alejandro Garnacho and Facundo Pellistri were also present. Those two have become regulars in Ten Hag’s squad selection.

Rio made an appearance

Ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand turned up to Carrington to see the players.

The defender made 455 appearances for the Red and won six Premier League titles, as well as getting his hands on the Champions League trophy in 2007/08.

He was pictured with several United players ahead of their session, such as Bruno Fernandes, Victor Lindelöf and Garnacho.

Rio Ferdinand and Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd)
Rio Ferdinand and Victor Lindelof (Man Utd)
Rio Ferdinand and Alejandro Garnacho (Man Utd)