Manchester United are now preparing for their Europa League round of 16 second leg with Real Betis.
It has been a patchy fortnight or so for Erik ten Hag’s men, who have been up and down of late. One of their latest downs came in a frustrating draw with Southampton in the Premier League over the weekend, but before that, the Red Devils managed to defeat Real Betis pretty comfortably at Old Trafford in the first leg of their Europa League tie.
United defeated the Spanish side 4-1, with Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini decided to make significant changes to his side ahead of what he seemed to deem a more important La Liga tie with Villarreal. That decision may have, at least in part, cost Betis a spot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, but United still need to finish the job.
Ahead of the second leg at Estadio Benito Villamarin, United have announced their travelling squad, and it has been confirmed that Anthony Martial will miss out through injury, while Antony is absent through illness. Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek are still long-term absentees, while Nathan Bishop, Zidane Iqbal, Kobbie Mainoo trained on Wednesday but weren’t named in the travelling squad.
The good news for United is that Victor Linelof has returned from illness, while Marcel Sabitzer has also returned after missing out for the last two outings. Casemiro is also eligible, with his red card over the weekend not carrying over into the Europa League.
Pellegrini has confirmed that Luiz Felipe and Juan Cruz also miss out. The Betis boss said: “We are without Luiz Felipe and Juan Cruz. They will also be out for Mallorca. The rest are available. If we don’t qualify, it will be because the rival is better, and not because of our poor performance.”
Betis drew with Villarreal in La Liga over the weekend, and they were pretty fortunate to get their goal through a Pepe Reina mistake. In truth, the Verdiblancos were pretty poor in Castellon, and they will be desperate to put on a better performance on Thursday night after back-to-back poor displays.