Predictions

Europa League R32

Tonight sees the Europa League kick off their knockout stages with the round of 32. Manchester United host St Etienne whilst Tottenham travel to Gent looking to book their places in the last 16.

 

Gent vs Tottenham (6:00pm)

 

This match up should be fun because both teams are coming off the back of defeats at the weekend.

 

Apart from Erik Lamela, Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen, Mauricio Pochettino has a full squad to choose from but might rest a few players ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup clash with Fulham.

 

Spurs will need to start on the front foot if want to take a healthy lead back to White Hart Lane next week for the second leg. They are however yet to muster a win in Belgium from four previous fixtures.

 

Gent shouldn’t be much of a problem given the lack of goal scorers amongst their squad but strikers, Kalifa Coulibaly and Jeremy Perbet are likely to cause the biggest issue with 11 goals between them in all competitions so far.

 

Prediction: Gent 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur

Result: Gent 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

 

Manchester United vs Saint Etienne (8:05pm)

 

Jose Mourinho is expected to field a strong first team as Paul Pogba plays against his brother for the first time.

 

The back four of Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind are expected to start their fourth consecutive match together marring any late injuries. This comes despite Marcus Rojo and Luke Shaw being available for selection.

 

Saint Etienne already know what Zlatan Ibrahimović is capable of after he found the net 14 times against them, during his PSG stint.  They will need to nail their defence right down to a tee if want to take the tie back to France alive.

 

One saving grace for the visitors is that Man U have a FA Cup trip to Blackburn Rovers on Sunday, so might not play the Swedish legend for the full match. If  any of these top strikers; Robert Beric, Romain Hamouma and Nolan Roux are on the pitch, they will need to go for it and try and get an away goal, which could prove pivotal next week.

 

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Saint Etienne

Result: Manchester United 3-0 Saint Etienne

One thought on “Europa League R32

Leave a Reply