Manchester United didn’t finish their last Champions League season – they were knocked out of the competition in the Group Stage after securing only nine points of the 15 possible. To be honest, they had tough competitors: Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, and Istanbul Basaksehir. After a dismal Champions League season, in turn, there are great things ahead of the Red Devils, according to former professional footballer and current sports aficionado Owen Hargreaves.
Back to winning
On Valentine’s Day, Manchester United faced West Brom at The Hawthorns – not having the advantage of their home ground seems to have been one of the reasons why the Red Devils couldn’t move the score past a 1-1 draw. This result has left them in second place in the Premier League, lagging ten points behind leader Manchester City.
But the team’s recent Europa League match against Real Sociedad put them back into the saddle. The match played at the Juventus Stadium in Torino (Turin), Italy, has seen the Red Devils plow through the Basque team in a big way, with Bruno Fernandes scoring twice, and Rashford and James scoring one each.
A shot at the trophy
Speaking to BT Sports, former professional player Owen Hargreaves predicted that Manchester United has a real shot at winning the Europa League trophy this season. Not only did they beat their Basque opponents in a spectacular way but they also set the tone for their progress across the competition.
And sports betting operators seem to agree with Hargreaves on this matter. Betway and other bookmakers now list Manchester United as the team with the best chances to end this Europa League season with the trophy under its belt, ahead of Tottenham, Arsenal, and AC Milan.
Others agree that the Manchester team can redeem itself after its dismal performance in last year’s Champions League, especially if they can bridge the gap between them and Manchester City in the Premier League this season.
The second leg is coming
Manchester United will face Real Sociedad again on February 25. The game is planned to take place at Old Trafford, giving the English team the advantage of the home ground.
Pogba is expected to miss this game, too, just like he will miss all of his other games this month and only return to the turf for the team’s March 6th match against Crystal Palace. Others who may miss the match are Van de Beek and Cavani, both of whom have suffered muscle injuries during the team’s previous matches.
On the Basque side, Oyarzabal is unlikely to recover in time for the match from the hamstring injury he suffered last week. The 23-year-old winger and forward was instrumental in propelling La Real to sixth place in La Liga – his sidelining will certainly be felt by the club going forward.