Ahead of Manchester United’s last 16 Champions League tie against Sevilla, we look at how the game could unfold for both sides, in what will be a big night of European football.
United in good form
Jose Mourinho’s men are in fine form going into tonight’s game having won their last four matches in all competitions. Having breezed past Brighton in the quarter finals of the FA Cup, the Red Devils have gone on to prevail against Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Chelsea in domestic action.
The former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager has transformed the 20 times Premier League Champions since taking over in the summer of 2016 and the club are edging closer to becoming a force amongst Europe’s elite once more.
The Danger Men of Sevilla
The Spanish side currently sit in fifth position in La Liga, however following a series of poor results under manager Vincenzo Montella, the three times Europa League winners are low on confidence and hold a less than impressive away record.
The first leg of the tie ended as a 0-0 draw, as Jose Mourinho was heavily criticised for his team’s tactics throughout. The 54 year old was accused of stifling the game and allowing the encounter to drift to a disappointing close.
With this being noted, Sevilla possess one of Europe’s hottest strikers, in the form of French striker Wissam Ben Yedder, who has already scored 17 goals this season. This evening’s hosts will need to be on top form in order to shun the advances of the away side, who are more than capable of causing an upset in front of the Old Trafford faithful.
The strength of the Champions League sides?
The quality of football amongst Europe’s elite has appeared to increase over recent years. World renowned heavyweights such as Real Madrid and Juventus along with the England’s Manchester City have created an increasingly competitive tournament.
Can Sanchez make the difference?
It’s fair to say that Alexis Sanchez has struggled to settle into life at Old Trafford since his shock transfer from Arsenal back in January. The Chilean has registered only once during his short time at the club and question marks have been raised over the 29 year old’s impact on big games.
This is now his time to shine. It doesn’t get much bigger than the Champions League and Sanchez will be desperate to make his mark on football’s greatest stage. Having produced lacklustre displays in front of the home faithful, this evening’s European tie could prove to be make or break for the player.
Can the Red Devils go all the way…?
This is the question that remains on everyone’s lips. Can the red half of Manchester achieve the seemingly impossible? The Red Devils boast of a solid home record having lost just once – against rivals City, in the last 12 months, however Mourinho’s side will acknowledge that edging past Sevilla will be a big enough task on its own.
With this in mind, the hosts hold an automatic advantage over their opponents as Mourinho’s pedigree at this stage of the competition is unquestionable.