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Sevilla vs Manchester United preview

So that didn’t go according to plan for Manchester United! After two first-half goals that had Red Devils soaring to a semifinal place, old demons reared their head. Own goals, injuries to Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez, combined with Bruno Fernandes’ suspension from this second leg means that United have it all to do in the second leg.

Sevilla, on the other hand, will now fancy their chances of piling on United’s misery. Buoyed by the home support against a creaking United side, it won’t be as huge an upset as the first leg if they put away United.

Manchester United must dig deep and find the strength and grit to match a Sevilla side that will relish the chance to land another European knockout blow to the Old Trafford outfit.

Sevilla vs Manchester United – Team news

Sevilla don’t have many injury worries and after a comfortable 2-0 win away to Valencia in La Liga, they have found form domestically as well.

Only Pape Gueye is ineligible due to not being registered for the Europa League. Otherwise, Sevilla has a full quota of players to select from. Expect Sevilla manager Mendilibar to recall Bounou between the sticks in place of Dmitrovic.

Sevilla Predicted XI: Bounou, Montiel, Bade, Nianzou, Acuna, Fernando, Gudelj, Suso, Rakitic, Ocampos, En-Nesyri.

Manchester United, on the other hand, are at the opposite extreme of the spectrum regarding injury worries. A bare-bones squad was thinned further at the weekend after Marcel Sabitzer pulled out of the Nottingham Forest game due to an injury in the warmup.

Tyrell Malacia also caught the injury bug, forcing Erik Ten Hag into playing Diogo Dalot at LB. First-choice CB pairing Varane and Martinez are long-term absentees. Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw’s status is worth keeping an eye on, especially Luke Shaw, due to the lack of options in defence.

Erik Ten Hag might not risk Martial for a third consecutive start in a week after his return from injury. Wout Weghorst should start in his place with Martial chomping at the bit to make a difference off the bench. The same should be Eriksen’s case, leading to a start for Fred.

Manchester United Predicted XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Dalot, Fred, Casemiro, Antony, Fernandes, Sancho, Weghorst.

Key Players

Youssef en-Nesyri and Suso – Sevilla

Manchester United playing their second-choice CB pairing means that forward en-Nesyri would fancy his chances of getting around them. Although Maguire and Lindelof acquitted themselves well against Nottingham Forest, they often look uncomfortable when running towards their own goal.

However, Suso should be Sevilla’s main threat. Coming off a goalscoring performance against Valencia on the weekend, the former Liverpool man would be extra motivated to knock United out of the Europa League. The silky attacker regularly comes between the lines to create chances. Casemiro’s presence in front of the back four will be crucial to nullifying his threat.

Jadon Sancho and Casemiro – Manchester United

Jadon Sancho has not had a good time at Manchester United. With Amad impressing at Sunderland on loan and Pellistri exciting the fans in his limited minutes, the pressure is on Sancho to deliver. There have been glimpses of the potential which convinced United to splash the cash on him but they have been fleeting.

In the absence of Marcus Rashford, Antony rose to the occasion against Forest and Martial was heavily involved. It is time for Sancho to step up now.

The same can’t be said for Casemiro. The Brazilian has made a habit of influencing big games with pivotal contributions. He knows the Spanish opposition inside out and has extensive experience playing in Spain. His job would be to protect an increasingly fragile back four while being adventurous in his passing.

Sevilla vs Manchester United prediction

Manchester United had the opportunity to put this tie to rest in the first leg. However, that was squandered in remarkable circumstances. While Erik Ten Hag’s side has shown resiliency this season in face of adversity, this tie has become a proper clash instead of the one-sided affair many were expecting when it was made.

Sevilla will be charged up by the possibility of an upset and their home crowd behind them. United will have to start fast and strong to quieten the crowd. An early goal for Sevilla could make it a long night for United. Still, their ability to play under pressure and react to setbacks means United start as favourites for this.

FootTheBall predicts a nervy win for Manchester United. Sevilla 0-1 Manchester United.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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