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Preview: Feyenoord v Manchester United – UEFA Europa League 2016/17

De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands

UEFA Europa League 2016/17

Thursday 15th September 2016 – KO 18:00 [Live on BT Sport]

Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)

Assistant Referees: Miguel Martínez (ESP) and Angel Nevado Rodriguez (ESP)

Additional Assistant Referees: Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP) and Alejandro Hernandez (ESP)

Fourth Official: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)

Manchester United open their UEFA Europa League season on Thursday evening against Feyenoord at De Kuip in Rotterdam. This is the first time United have started the group stages in Europe’s secondary competition which was earned after United finished fifth in the Premier League last season, just behind Manchester City in fourth on goal difference. United have played in the Europa League twice before, once back in the 2011/12 season under Sir Alex Ferguson and last season after dropping out of the UEFA Champions League group stage. United have not been all that great in the competition, losing 2-1 to Midtjylland, but winning the return leg 5-1, then losing 2-0 to Liverpool at Anfield before a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, with United exiting the competition at the same stage they had under Ferguson, that time, though, they were schooled by Athletic Bilbao 5-3 on aggregate, beating Ajax 3-2 on aggregate in the previous round.

A new European campaign always brings hope and enticing odds for big teams to win the competition, but United fans will be wary – the team has not done well against Dutch opposition recently.. Last season, PSV Eindhoven were in United Champions League group. On the 15th September 2015, United were beaten 2-1 by the Dutch side, a match where Luke Shaw also suffered a double leg fracture and ended his season prematurely, incidentally a year to the date they face Feyenoord in the Netherlands. United drew 0-0 with PSV at Old Trafford in the fifth group stage match last season which all but ended their chances of making the knockout stages of the competition. United will be up for the challenge of the Dutch side, who has started the season well in the Eredivisie, winning their first five matches of the season, only defeated by PSV in the Johan Cruyff Shield on the 31st July 2016. United have had a good start this season, winning four out of five matches with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring five goals in as many games and Eric Bailly settling into his new club well with many Man of the Match performances.

Jose Mourinho has previously stated that he could not wait for September to come as it would see his side play more matches with the UEFA Europa League and the EFL Cup commence, which means he will be able to use more of his players, with many not yet featuring for their club this season. The Portuguese manager has left Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard in Manchester was a 20-man squad left for Rotterdam. Phil Jones and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were also left as there were suggestions both are currently injured, which is something you can expect of Jones, who seems to be injured all the time, despite not playing a minute of competitive football this season. Mourinho should be able to offer the likes of Matteo Darmian, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Chris Smalling, Memphis Depay, Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin and Marcus Rashford some playing time this month, with many likely to feature for United on Thursday.

Manchester United Form:- LWWWWD

Manchester City 2-1 L, Hull City 1-0 W, Southampton 2-0 W, AFC Bournemouth 3-1 W, Leicester City 2-1 W, Everton 0-0 D [F]

Feyenoord Form:- WWWWWL

ADO Den Haag 3-1 W, Excelsior 4-1 W, Heracles Almelo 1-0 W, Twente 2-0 W, FC Groningen 5-0 W, PSV Eindhoven 0-1 L

Manchester United Squad;

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Sam Johnstone

Defenders: Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Matteo Darmian

Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Memphis Depay, Juan Mata, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

Feyenoord Squad:

Manager: Giovanni van Bronckhorst

Goalkeepers: Kenneth Vermeer, Warner Hahn, Justin Bijlow, Pär Hansson, Brad Jones

Defenders: Rick Karsdorp, Sven van Beek, Terence Kongolo, Jan-Arie van der Heijden, Lucas Woudenberg, Bart Nieuwkoop, Wessel Dammers, Eric Botteghin

Midfielders: Marko Vejinović, Karim El Ahmadi, Tonny Vilhena, Steven Berghuis, Renato Tapia, Simon Gustafson, Jens Toornstra, Emil Hansson, Gustavo Hamer

Forwards: Dirk Kuyt, Nicolai Jørgensen, Eljero Elia, Bilal Başaçıkoğlu, Michiel Kramer, Rashaan Fernandes, Nigel Robertha, Mohamed El Hankouri

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Score:

Feyenoord 1-2 Manchester United

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