Man Utd handed Europa League boost as Barcelona boss Xavi sweats on the fitness of two key stars
MANCHESTER UNITED have been handed a boost ahead of their Europa League play-off second leg against Barcelona.
The tie is delicately poised following last week’s thrilling 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp.
Xavi could be set for a selection headache on ThursdayCredit: Getty
And Barca boss Xavi is facing a potential selection headache ahead of Thursday’s return fixture at Old Trafford.
Gavi’s yellow card in the first leg means he is suspended, while Pedri is also out after he limped off in the same game.
But elsewhere, Xavi has been left sweating over whether key duo Robert Lewandowski and Frenkie de Jong will be match fit.
The Barca gaffer admitted he will have to “see how tired they are” ahead of Thursday’s crunch clash against United.
While neither of the pair are injured, Xavi said, via Marca: “Frenkie de Jong and Robert Lewandowski played more minutes.
“I think they have been playing a lot of minutes, that’s why I made the changes.
“The other day Pedri was injured, and we can’t afford more injuries.
“Let’s prepare for Thursday’s game from tomorrow and see how tired they are.”
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Both De Jong and Lewandowski were substituted in Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Cadiz on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele appears set to miss out with the hamstring problem that has kept him out of the last five games.
Playing down his chances of featuring against United, Xavi said on the winger: “He’s doing some work on the training ground. He is working with the medical staff and he will return to the group when he feels ready.”
But in good news for Xavi, Sergio Busquets appears set to return against the Red Devils.
The veteran midfielder missed the first leg with an ankle injury, but was fit enough to make the squad against Cadiz at the weekend.
Robert Lewandowski has scored 24 goals in 29 games for Barca this seasonCredit: Rex
After being linked with the Red Devils in the summer, Frenkie de Jong has been an important player for Xavi this campaignCredit: Rex..