Manchester United now Focused on Europa League Trophy
It’s been a mixed season for Manchester United but there is still a chance that the Red Devils will end the campaign with some major silverware. Having briefly led at the top of the Premier League table, United have slipped back while bitter rivals Manchester City have established a big lead.
The EPL title may be gone but United can now focus on the Europa League. Thanks to the misfortune of another English club, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have a clearer path to the trophy.
Spurs Slip Up
Tottenham Hotspur had been favourites to win the Europa League for some time and the side coached by Jose Mourinho looked certain to claim a place in the quarter-finals. Spurs were 2-0 up after their first leg tie with Dinamo Zagreb but managed to throw away that advantage in a 3-0 second-leg defeat.
With Tottenham out of the running, sbo.net can now confirm that Europa League betting markets show Manchester United as the new favourites. The Red Devils are ahead while fellow English Premier League side Arsenal are expected to be their closest challengers.
As the clubs hit the quarter-final stage, those markets will continue to fluctuate and sbo.net will report on those movements. Don’t forget to check out news and opinion pieces too while sportsbook offers and promotions will be listed when any readers are looking to enter the markets.
The Biggest Challenges
Manchester United have been drawn against Spanish side Granada in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Some would argue that this is the most favourable tie that the Red Devils could have landed considering the other teams that are left in the competition. Granada sit in eighth place in the Spanish top flight and United have the benefit of playing the first leg away from home.
From that point, the competition is likely to get much harder. As we have already seen, Arsenal are the closest challengers to Manchester United as far as the bookmakers are concerned. The Gunners have already played Solskjaer’s side twice in the Premier League and they’ve taken four points from those matches. A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal secured a 1-0 win for Arsenal at Old Trafford while the sides drew 0-0 at the Emirates.
Along with Arsenal, Ajax and Roma are arguably the two strongest teams left in the Europa League. Both teams have performed well in their respective divisions and are in good form coming into this contest. The good news from Manchester United’s perspective is that Roma and Ajax have been drawn together in the quarter-finals so one of those challenges is set to be removed.
The remaining quarter-final is between Villarreal and Dinamo Zagreb. Neither team is expected to go all the way in the competition but Dinamo can offer a threat, having knocked out previous favourites Spurs in the Round of 16.
Can Manchester United win the Europa League?
There are clearly some strong teams left in this competition but the destiny of the Europa League lies in Manchester United’s hands. They have the strength of the squad and the greater quality to come through and claim the trophy in a competition that they previously won in 2017. United beat Ajax in that 2017 Europa League final and fans will also see that as an omen moving forward this year.
The key lies in pivotal players such as Bruno Fernandes who is among the Premier League’s leading scorers despite being a midfielder. The Portuguese international is deadly from set-pieces and he’s also providing crucial assists for the front men.
United’s main strikers Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will want to be scoring at a higher ratio but they have contributed vital strikes in this campaign. With support from the experienced Edinson Cavani, United should not have any issues in front of goal.
Problems may arise at the back where the defence has been a little unsettled. Solskjaer seems unsure of his first-choice keeper with David de Gea and Dean Henderson battling for the number one jersey.
If the defence can stay strong, the goals will come at the other end of the pitch and that’s a simple equation that could ultimately lead to Europa League glory for Manchester United this season.