Manchester United will return to UEFA Europa League action this evening when they welcome Granada to Old Trafford for the very first time. United beat the Spanish side 2-0 last Thursday in the quarter-final first leg of the competition and hold the advantage in this match. United will be boosted by their victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. It was a controversial match with United taking the lead early but the goal was ruled out. Son Hueng-Min eventually scored with United coming from behind to score three goals. In coming from behind, United have now earned 28 points in the Premier League, 12 more than any other club.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have a foot in the door to the semi-final of the competition this season. The draw has already been made and they will face either AS Roma or Ajax, with the Italian side having the advantage with a 2-1 aggregate scoreline. United reached the semi-final of the Europa League last season, losing to Sevilla, who were knocked out of the Champions League. United should be seen as the favourites to win the competition this season. Diego Martínez’s side are also boosted after beating Real Valladolid 2-1 on Sunday. This was their first win in four matches, with the club losing four in a row.
Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Telles;
Fred, Matic, Pogba;
Grant, Henderson; Williams, Fish, Mata, Diallo, James, Van de Beek, Shoretire; Rashford, Elanga
Foulquier, Vallejo, German, Neva;
Kenedy, Herrera, Machis;
Banacloche, Fabrega, Perez, Suarez, Puertas, Diaz, Molina, Ruiz, Torrente
United and Granada have met once in the history of both club with United winning 2-0 last Thursday. This puts them in with a good chance of winning the tie. They will need to score a few goals at Old Trafford. Granada had not yet faced any English opposition in European competition before meeting United last week. United have faced Spanish opposition many times, including beating Real Sociedad in the round of 32 stage of the competition this season. United won 4-0 in the first leg and drew 0-0 in the second, winning 4-0 on aggregate. If United win this match they will reach the semi-finals for the second season running.
United also faced Sevilla in the semi-final of the competition last season, losing 2-1 in the one-legged match. The competition was delayed and switched to one-legged matches after the round of 32 stage because of the coronavirus pandemic. United have pedigree in facing Spanish teams in European competition. The have faced Barcelona, Valencia, Real Madrid, Celta Vigo, Athletic Club, Villarreal, Deportivo La Coruña and Atlético Madrid. United have played 60 times against Spanish opposition. The have won 15, drawn 23 and lost 22 – scoring 71 goals and conceding 80.
Written by John Walker