United Favourites to Advance But Sevilla Goal threat Looms Large
Manchester United have the chance to become the third Premier League side into the quarter finals of the Champions League on Tuesday night, but the job is far from done after a 0-0 draw in the first leg at Sevilla.
When the Red Devils shut out Sevilla a couple of weeks ago in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan it was viewed as a job well done by Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils. That’s true to an extent, as they travelled away from home and were not beaten.
The problem the Red Devils face, though, is that they are now susceptible to an away goal at Old Trafford. Were Sevilla to score on Tuesday, Unite would have no other option than to win the game as any scoring draw would see the Liga side progress on away goals.
United should have every right to approach the game with confidence, as they are unbeaten at Old Trafford in European competition for four years, and the market makers have them as heavy favourites – with 188BET chalking them up at 1.45 to progress, while Sevilla can be backed at 2.88 to advance to the last eight.
Historical records make United heavily favoured to progress following the 0-0 draw, but it needs to be remembered that Mourinho’s side had goalkeeper David De Gea to thank for their clean sheet. The Spaniard made a number of excellent saves, one reflex stop in particular to keep out Luis Muriel’s header was from the top drawer, and it confirms the threat Sevilla carry.
The onus will be on United to take the game to Sevilla, but we are likely to see a gameplan similar to the one that saw them claim three points at home to Liverpool on Saturday. Against the Reds, Mourinho set his side up to absorb pressure before hitting at great pace on the counter.
A similar scenario could be at play on Tuesday night, so expect to see Marcus Rashford in the starting XI once again following his two-goal burst against Liverpool.
Paul Pogba was absent on account of injury against Liverpool and he was not missed, as United looked far better drilled and fluent in the Frenchman’s absence. With Pogba having looked out of sorts for a few weeks prior to missing the game with Liverpool, Mourinho may not be in any rush to press the club’s record signing back into service.
Mourinho admitted in his press conference on Monday that United will need to play far better than they did in the first leg, but that may well be achieved without having to shoehorn Pogba into his midfield – and that’s a sorry state of affairs for a player who was brought back to the club to spark them to glory.
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