Manchester United – Celta de Vigo (Europa League)
After winning by a minimal advantage in Galiza, Manchester United now hosts Celta de Vigo at Old Trafford, in Manchester, in a match referent to the second leg of the Europa League semi-finals. José Mourinho rotated heavily his squad on sunday, against Arsenal, and lost his first competitive game ever against Arsène Wenger, having turned all his focus in winning this competition. Celta de Vigo, on their turn, has done the same thing, focusing entirely in this competition, but are obliged to get a positive result here, without conceding goals, if they are to progress to the final.
Manchester United started their european competition smoothly, qualifying as 2nd placed in Group A behind Fenerbahce, and took out of their way teams like Saint-Étienne, FK Rostov and Anderlecht to reach this stage. In the first leg of these semi-finals, the Red Devils won by a minimal advantage of 0-1 in Vigo, with Marcus Rashford scoring from a direct free kick and earning them a valuable away goal, and the team are now fully focused in winning this competition, with most of the key-players being rested in the weekend. On sunday, José Mourinho saw his 25-match unbeaten run in the Premier League come to an end against Arsenal, being clear that all his focus is on winning this Europa League in order to get access to the Champions League.
The Red Devils have a fantastic record in this competition, winning all of their 6 home games, scoring 15 goals and conceding only 2 in the process. José Mourinho is a great coach and is an expert in potentialize the defensive organization of his teams. However, his teams don’t usually show a great offensive power, but this Manchester United have very good offensive strengths, such as creating long shot opportunities and creating chances using through balls or individual skill, with very talented players like Marcus Rashford, Lingard or Mkhitaryan, all capable of making the difference.
In their last 5 official games, Manchester United has won 2, draw 2 and lost the remaining one. This sequence of results started with a 0-2 victory at Burnley’s stadium. This result was followed by a 0-0 draw at Manchester City’s ground, a 1-1 home draw against Swansea City, a 0-1 victory at Celta de Vigo’s home, for the Europa League, and in their last clash, a 2-0 loss at Arsenal’s ground. Marcos Rojo, Fosu-Mensah, Ibrahimovic, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are all out due to injury.
Probable Lineup: Gea – Valencia, Bailly, Blind and Darmian – Fellaini, Herrera and Pogba – Lingard, Rashford and Mkhitaryan.
Celta de Vigo, on their turn, have also qualified as 2nd placed in Group G behind Ajax, and took out of their way teams like Shakhtar Donetsk, FK Krasnodar and Genk. However, in the first leg of these semi-finals, the Celts were unable of taking advantage of the home factor and ended up being defeated at the hands of Manchester United, having a much harder task now in getting access to the final, since it will be very hard to defeat the Red Devils at Old Trafford. Although they have also lost the first leg of the sixteenth-finals at home, against Shakhtar Donetsk by 0-1, and won in the return leg by 0-2 in Ukraine, this time it will be much harder.
The Celts haven’t won any of their last 6 meetings, arriving here with 5 consecutive defeats, 4 of them for the spanish league, and are also focusing entirely in this Europa League, since they already have no chance of getting access to the european competitions through La Liga’s table, sitting in the 10th place. Celta de Vigo have a surprising away form in Europa League, losing only 1 of the 6 matches they have played, winning 3, and scoring 10 goals while conceding 5 in the process. However, it happens that the Celts are not a team with proper defensive organization, having too many loopholes, which causes them to suffer too many goals. Offensively they present a good conversion rate in shooting from direct free kicks, are strong in creating chances using through balls and very fast in counterattacks, especially Iago Aspas. Sisto is technically very talented, very good in dribbling his opponents and a threat for most of the defenses.
In their last 5 official games, Celta de Vigo lost all 5. This sequence of results started with a 0-1 home defeat against Real Betis. This result was followed by a 2-1 defeat at Sevilla’s ground, a 0-3 home loss against Athletic Bilbao, a 0-1 home defeat against Manchester United, for the Europa League, and in their last clash, a 3-0 defeat at Málaga’s ground. Giuseppe Rossi is out due to injury.
Probable Lineup: Álvarez – Mallo, Roncaglia, Cabral and Jonny – Hernández and Radoja – Aspas, Wass and Sisto – Guidetti.
Manchester United won the only direct confront ever played.
Celta de Vigo
Europa League 2016/17
Playing at home with the effervescent support of their fans, and with a fully rested squad for this tie, Manchester United gathers all the factors to keep an impermeable defensive sector and to be lethal when attacking, ensuring their presence in the final.