Manchester United welcome Sevilla to Old Trafford for the first leg of their quarter-final Europa League tie.
Competition: Europa League
Venue: Old Trafford
Kick Off: 20:00 UK Time
TV Channel: BT Sport
How do Manchester United look?
Manchester United have bounced back from their difficult spell post Carabao Cup final with two strong showings against Brentford and Everton in the Premier League. United’s most recent game, against Everton, saw them completely dominate The Toffees in the first half and create a flurry of chances. United should have scored more goals given their chances, Antony and Marcus Rashford both squandered some good opportunities early in the first half before Scott McTominay made the breakthrough in the 36th minute. After somehow managing to keep hold of the ball Rashford played the ball to Jadon Sancho who punched in a pass for McTominay to run onto and fire past Jordan Pickford at the near post. The lead was no less than United deserved after their first-half performance.
United’s pressure faded a bit in the second half and Everton came into the game more but couldn’t create anything clear-cut. All hope of an Everton comeback was ended in the 71st minute when Anthony Martial doubled the lead on his return from injury. Seamus Coleman failed to deal with a long ball from Lisandro Martinez and Rashford capitalised, going through on goal before squaring the ball for Martial. It was another good game from Erik ten Hag’s men with good performances across the pitch. Bruno Fernandes once again thrived in a deeper role and was named Man of the Match as he dictated play and helped United progress play.
The only negative to come from the game against Everton was Marcus Rashford’s injury. Rashford was substituted after feeling something in his groin and Erik ten Hag has confirmed that the forward will miss a few games but should be back for the end of season run in. Alejandro Garnacho, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay will also be unavailable for the match against Sevilla on Thursday. Christian Eriksen made his return against Everton after picking up an injury when United faced Reading in January and will be available for selection. Casemiro will also be back having served his suspension and will now be available in all competitions.
Manchester United’s opponents Sevilla have struggled this season and currently find themselves sitting 13th in La Liga. Sevilla sacked manager Julien Lopetegui after he could only win one of their opening ten matches, replacing him with current manager Jorge Sampaoli. Sampaoli brought a slight upturn in results but Sevilla have still been disappointing under their new manager. Sevilla find themselves in the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group that contained Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund. No team has won more Europa League’s than Sevilla’s six and the Spanish side will be hoping a European run could kickstart some good form.
Sevilla’s player to watch across the tie is Lucas Ocampos. Ocampos was recalled to Sevilla after spending half a season on loan at Ajax and has performed well since his return picking up three goals and an assist so far. The Argentine is a tricky right-winger who will look to beat his man and deliver crosses into the box for striker Youssef En-Nesyri. United fans should also look out for Alex Telles who is on loan at Sevilla and will be available to play against his parent club across these two legs.
Manchester United seem to have put their bad form of recent weeks behind them and with key players like Christian Eriksen and Casemiro returning they will be favourites to win this game. Being without Marcus Rashford will be a big loss for United though, and another attacker will need to step up to replace his goals. Sevilla have been poor this season but will see this tie as an opportunity to cause an upset and continue their run in the tournament.
Manchester United 2-0 Sevilla.