Manchester United – Sevilla (Champions League)
After beating Liverpool on Saturday, Manchester United play again at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, this time against Sevilla for the second leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League. With the victory over the Reds, Jose Mourinho solidified the 2nd place in the Premier League table, and now he turns his focus to surpass the Spaniards to achieve the next stage of the competition. Sevilla, on their turn, arrive here in the aftermath of a defeat in their own ground against Valencia.
Manchester United did not get better than a goalless draw in the first leg in Spain, a tie that is much due to De Gea and his fantastic performance, since the overall team performance was very disappointing. Jose Mourinho’s men come here after a victory over a Liverpool in a very good form, solidifying the 2nd place in the Premier League table. The Red Devils are always a very strong side at home, they have lost just 1 of their 20 games at Old Trafford this season, winning 17 of them, with 46 goals scored and only 9 goals conceded, and under Jose Mourinho, United have only lost two home matches and both were against Manchester City.
When they play with the support of their fans the Red Devils show a very good offensive record, they have scored in 19 of those 20 home matches this season. The team also stands out for their immense defensive organization, since they have kept 13 clean sheets in those 20 matches. More important than score a goal in this match is not to concede, so this should be one more tactical game for the Portuguese coach. The team are very good in keeping possession of the ball, defensive set-pieces, counter-attacks and in finishing scoring chances, some attributes they will surely use here.
In their last 5 official matches, Manchester United has a record of 4 victories and 1 draw. This sequence of results started with a 0-2 victory against Huddersfield, for the FA Cup. This result was followed by a 0-0 draw away to Sevilla, for the Champions League, a 2-1 victory against Chelsea, a 2-3 victory against Crystal Palace, and in their last match, a 2-1 victory against Liverpool. Blind, Herrera, Rojo and Phil Jones are all sidelined.
Probable Lineup: Gea – Valencia, Bailly, Smalling and Young – Matic and McTominay – Mata, Sánchez and Rashford – Lukaku.
Sevilla, on their turn, had a very good performance in the first leg of these round of 16 and saw David De Gea deny them the goal for multiple times. The Spaniards come here in the aftermath of a defeat in their home ground against Valencia, which leaves the team even further from the Champions League spots in the league table. Away from home, the Rojiblancos have played 22 games this season, in all competitions, losing 9 and winning 10, scoring 28 goals and conceding 37 in the process. The team won 4 of their last 6 away games, losing one, with 10 goals scored and 8 goals conceded.
Scoring a goal here would be very positive for Sevilla, but it will not be easy since Manchester United is very well organized defensively. The Andalusian side shows some difficulties in defending against counter-attacks, something in which the english side are very good, reason why the Spaniards should enter with a more defensive posture and benefit more the long balls to the attack, adopting a more direct playing style. Offensively, most of their scoring opportunities come from individual skill, with Muriel, Correa and Franco Vázquez being strong in dribbling their opponents.
In their last 5 official matches, Sevilla has a record of 2 victories, 1 draw and 2 defeats. This sequence of results started with a 0-0 draw at home against Manchester United, for the Champions League. This result was followed by a 2-5 defeat against Atletico Madrid, a 0-1 victory against Malaga, a 2-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao, and in their last match, a 0-2 defeat against Valencia. Sevilla have confirmed Jesus Navas will miss Tuesday’s trip to Old Trafford through injury. Sébastien Corchia is also sidelined, while Miguel Layún is ineligible.
Probable Lineup: Rico – Mercado, Kjaer, Lenglet and Escudero – N’Zonzi and Banega – Sarabia, Vázquez and Correa – Muriel.
The only direct clash between both teams ended in a tie.
United are usually very strong at home and Mourinho’s side should do enough, buoyed by Saturday’s win over Liverpool, to make the quarter finals of the Champions League. The Red Devils should be able to seal access to the next stage during the 90 minutes.