Manchester United and Sevilla return to Champions League football on Wednesday, and are set to lock horns in a bid to qualify onto the next round of the prestigious competition.
Both sides will fancy their chances, what with Sevilla’s proven record in Europe, albeit in a lesser league, while Jose Mourinho’s men will be eager to leave a firm mark in their eventual return to the acme of European football.
Here are how the two teams are most likely to line up in the first leg at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan:
With Ibrahimovic, Fellaini, Jones, and Rojo ruled out of the outing, Mourinho will have to focus on making the most out of his fit lot. The biggest decision at hand, not just for this game, but in general for his tenure at Old Trafford, is whether Mourinho will opt for 4-3-3 and field an apt midfield.
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If that’s the case, Pogba will find the perfect opportunity to return from his form dip and make a mark in the encounter. The return of Eric Bailly will mean that United have their first-choice centre-back fit and ready.
But if they go as they have gone usually, the choice between Rashford, Mata, and Martial will be the tough one, as Lingard’s form would certainly have earned him a Champions League spot.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
Defenders: Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Shaw
Midfielders: Herrera, Matic, Pogba
Attackers: Lingard, Lukaku, Sanchez
The Rojiblancos go into the tie with an earnest desire to prove that they are more than capable of making it in the top tier European competition. But they will have the challenge of ensuring that United don’t outdo them at home, in which case the return leg at Old Trafford will be a foregone conclusion.
Manager Vincenzo Montella faces an injury list populated by Ever Banega, Nolito, Corchia, and Kjaer with a mixed chance of making it for the encounter. On the other hand, Miguel Layun will be cup-tied due to his time at Porto.
Defenders: Escudero, C. Lenget, G. Mercado, J.Navas
Midfielders: N’Zonzi, Banega
Attackers: Sarabia, Vazquez, Correa, Luis Muriel