Two places in the Final, four sides from four different countries battling it out to get into the last two in the competition. Finally, the Europa League - which started way back in July 2016, is hotting up. Manchester United are the English representatives in the BTEC Champions League competition, and there are also sides from the Netherlands, France and Spain. Let battle commence.
Two youthful sides do battle in Amsterdam on Wednesday evening, with the aim of taking on one of Celta Vigo or Manchester United in the Final of the competition. Ironically, it was both the hosts and Celta who came through in Group G and they could both meet later in the competition.
However, it’s back to the here and the now, and Ajax will be without both Joel Veltman and Nick Viergever for the first leg at home, whilst Lyon’s own Dutchman Memphis Depay won’t be available having played in the same competition for United earlier in the campaign. See what we mean; links everywhere between the final four!
And Ajax come into this one in decent form in Europe. They’re unbeaten in their last 12 European home ties, which is only helped by the fact that not a single French side has ever won the Europa League. Ever. Either that run will continue, or Lyon will break their country’s duck at some stage or another.
What We Sayin’?
This is the first ever meeting, and if memory serves us right, we wrote of Ajax in the last round. The naivety of youth and all that, if you weren’t feeling old already, the Dutch side are likely to have Kluivert up top – Justin, that is, not Patrick. Anyway, we’ll cut to the chase and go with a 1-1 draw at 11/2.
Aside from United fans, would anyone else find it hilarious if the Reds were knocked out after the two legs against Celta after Jose Mourinho put all his eggs in the potential Europa League winning basket.
Celta are no mugs though and have an excellent striker in Iago Aspas – even if Liverpool fans may disagree. However, Celta are sitting in mid-table in La Liga and have lost five of their last six games domestically.
At home, they’ve only drawn once all season in the league, which may hinder United, who are the draw specialists in the Premier League this term. The thing with Mourinho’s men is that they don’t lose and have a club-record unbeaten run – even if the run doesn’t include a host of WWWWWs on the tally.
What We Sayin’?
We expect United to just about have enough in Spain on Thursday evening. We fancy them to win the game, but BTTS at Balaidos – the home of Vigo – at 19/4.
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