Manchester United will look to ease into the semi-final stages of the UEFA Europa League when we take on Granada in the second leg at Old Trafford on Thursday evening. We are halfway there already as we have a 2-0 lead from the first leg last week thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes.
We come into the second leg off the back of our great 3-1 win against Tottenham on Sunday. United avenged their 6-1 defeat in the reverse fixture during which Fred, Edinson Cavani and a revitalise Mason Greenwood all getting on the scoresheet.
After exiting the Champions League group stages, the Red Devils have been touted as favourites to go all the way in the Europa League. Fans are anticipating that it could be an all English final against Arsenal come May 26th. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær will want to get the first trophy under his belt having fallen short before as we have lost the last four semi-finals in cup competitions.
United have won their last three games in a row and are unbeaten in the last eight at Old Trafford. This is despite drawing against both Real Sociedad and AC Milan in the previous rounds on home soil.
We have progressed on 21 occasions when we have won the first leg away from home of a European tie. United have only conceded one goal in the last five Europa League games since dropping out of the Champions League. It would take an all might capitulation from us not to progress to the final four of the competition.
Granada will be looking to defy the odds when they arrive at Old Trafford as they seek to overturn the 2-0 deficit. They have been impressive this season during the Europa League with not many expecting them to get very far in the competition. Defeat last week in the first leg marked Granada’s fourth loss in a row across all competitions. They managed to get back to winning ways when they beat Real Valladolid 2-1 in the league through goals from Jorge Molina and Quini.
Diego Martinez’s side is losing ground domestically in the race to be in the Europa League again for next season. Even though they did not score against us in the first leg, they have managed to score at least one goal in their last 12 away games in the competition.
Only fellow Spanish side Sevilla has progressed in the Europa League after being defeated by a two-goal margin in the first leg. For the club and the players, it will be a historic moment for them to play at Old Trafford but it must surely be where the road comes to an end in terms of the competition.
Manchester United vs Granada Details
Teams: Manchester United vs Granada
Date: April 15th, 2020 (Thursday)
KO Time: 20:00 GMT
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Stadium: Old Trafford
Referee: István Kovács
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Diego Martínez
Manchester United Team News
As for United, we will be without the suspended trio of Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay. They had all picked up bookings during the first leg. Eric Bailly still remains out following his positive test for covid-19.
Anthony Martial and Phil Jones are long-term absentees. They are not expected to feature for the rest of the season. Daniel James is fit to play after missing the Tottenham game due to a knock.
Marcus Rashford is a doubt for the game as he sat out of training on Wednesday due to a foot problem. Ole revealed in his pre-match conference whether he might feature or not. He said, “Yes Marcus didn’t train this morning so I’ll have to give him as much time as possible, his foot is still a little bit sore, but fingers crossed he is available tomorrow”
Axel Tuanzebe and Alex Telles are expected to deputise for the suspended Shaw and Maguire. Nemanja Matic could potentially be recalled to the starting eleven. This would see Paul Pogba move out to the left-wing once again.
Manchester United vs Granada Pre-Match Press Conference
During the pre-match press conference, Ole was asked his thoughts going into the second leg tie. He said, “You know, we’ve got a great foundation to play from and a good result but we go into this game wanting to win the game. We want to play a good game and perform well. We know that Granada will come here and give it everything they’ve got so we have to go out there, try to dominate the ball, score goals like we always want to do and keep carrying on. The momentum is big in football and if it goes for you, it goes for you so we just want to carry on there and hopefully the players will enjoy the game.”
Ole was also asked what he is expecting from our opponents Granada. He said, “Well, it’s a quarter-final in Europe so of course they need to score goals. The way they want to create chances and score goals, I cannot predict, of course, but we’ve seen them against Barcelona and Real Madrid and seen how dangerous they have been. We have to play a very good game. If they come and press us, we have to be ready for that. If they sit back and it’s more counter-attack, we have to play a good game and not give them those opportunities. It’s all up for grabs.”
Granada Team News
For our opponents, they have their own suspensions to deal with as Domingos Duarte and Yan Eteki will not be available. German Sanchez could fill the spot left behind by Duarte. Luis Milla and Neyder Lozano are still out as they work their way back from their respective injuries. Roberto Soldado who was suspended for the league game against Real Valladolid is likely to return and spearhead the attack.
Manchester United Europa League form: WDDWW
Manchester United form (all competitions): WWLWWW
Granada Europa League form: DWLWLL
Granada form (all competitions): WLLLLW
- Manchester United won the first leg of a European tie away from home for the 22nd time – they have progressed from all 21 of their previous such ties. (source: Opta)
- Marcus Rashford has scored eight goals in 10 matches in European competition this season. (source: Opta)
- Granada will be the 11th different Spanish side to play away to Manchester United in European competition. (source: Opta)
- Manchester United could keep three clean sheets in a row in Europe for the first time since their opening games in the 2019/20 Europa League in which they kept four (1-0, 0-0, 0-1 and 3-0).
Manchester United vs Granada Predicted Lineup
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Tuanzebe, Telles; Fred, Matic; Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba, and Cavani
Even though we have suspensions and injuries to deal with, United still has more enough quality to get past Granada. As we reach the end stages of the competition, the tag of being favourites to win the Europa League will intensify. It looks like we will achieve Champions League qualification through the league but it would be a fitting to end the season with a trophy to show how much United have progressed under Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
Manchester United 2-0 Granada