Just three days after a rousing win over Liverpool, Manchester United return to Champions League action with everything still to play for in the second leg against Spanish side,Sevilla.
The Reds barely survived their trip to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, following brilliant show by David De Gea who helped to secure a goalless outing for the former English Premiership champions.
Performances must improve tonight, as Sevilla outshoot Manchester United 25-6 in the first leg. But there won’t be any margin for error since the home side failed to score an away goal in Spain. Any score draw will knock the Reds out of the Champions League.
Thankfully, visiting teams rarely find joy at Old Trafford these days. In 20 home matches in 2017/18, United have won 17 with only one loss. Even better, they are rounding into form at exactly the right time.
Since that dour day at Sevilla, Manchester United have reeled off three straight wins and regained their footing after a choppy February. Jose Mourinho’s men needed comebacks to beat Chelsea and Crystal Palace, but wasted no time in grabbing control of Saturday’s match against Liverpool.
A first-half brace from Marcus Rashford proved the difference. Although Liverpool had 68% possession, they did little with it — mustering only two shots on goal. In fact, their only goal came courtesy of United’s Eric Bailly, who made his first start for the club since returning from ankle surgery. That gaffe aside, Bailly played well and provided much-needed strength and speed to the United defence
Speaking yesterday ahead of today’s clash with Sevilla, Mourinho said he did not know whether midfielder Paul Pogba would return for tonight’s Champions League last-16 second-leg tie.
Pogba has returned to training after missing Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League victory over Liverpool.
Forward Anthony Martial could return at Old Trafford after missing two matches.
The Red Devils will be without defenders Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind, and midfielder Ander Herrera.
And Tuesday’s game could come too soon for striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is regaining fitness after almost three months out with a knee injury.
Midfielder Michael Carrick will hope to be included after confirming on Monday that he will retire at the end of the season.
Sevilla will be without defender Sebastien Corchia, while Daniel Carrico is also a doubt. Former Manchester City winger Jesus Navas is unlikely to make the squad as he recovers from injury.
United, who will play its first Champions League knockout game in four years, has won 15 of the 18 home games so far this season.
Roma v Shakhtar
Man Utd v Sevilla
Besiktas v B’ Munich
Barca v Chelsea