Manchester United

Europa League Quarter-final First Leg: Granada vs Manchester United Preview, Team News, Probable XI and Prediction

Mudeet Arora
Apr 8, 2021, 11:49 AM GMT+5:30
Manchester United face Granada in the quarter-final of the Europa League
Manchester United face Granada in the quarter-final of the Europa League | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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Manchester United will return to UEFA Europa League action on Thursday night as they take on Spanish side Granada in the first leg of their quarter-final at the Los Carmenes Stadium.

Granada have had a decent domestic season up until now in La Liga, however, they have not been themselves in the last few weeks. The Red Devils on the other hand, are second in the Premier League and will be gunning to win the Europa League this season.

Team News:

Manchester United are still without defender Eric Bailly, who tested positive for Covid-19 recently. Solskjaer has also revealed that Anthony Martial will be out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

Rashford will travel with the squad but is not expected to play the full 90 minutes. Juan Mata is available for selection again whereas Anthony Elanga is included as one of the forwards after being added to the club's B list for the competition.

Amad Diallo is also part of the traveling squad, but Shola Shoretire is absent.

Granada manager Diego Martinez could be without three of his senior full-backs in Carlos Neva, Dimitri Foulquier and Quini. Neyder Lozano is another long-term absentee while Colombian forward Luis Suarez has a hamstring problem.

Stats ahead of the clash:

1) Granada will be the 11th different Spanish side Manchester United have faced in major European competition - they lost their first ever meeting with five of the previous 10 (Athletic Bilbao in 1957, Real Madrid in 1957, Barcelona in 1984, Atlético de Madrid in 1991 and Deportivo de La Coruña in 2001).

2) This is Granada's maiden European campaign - they are the first side since RB Leipzig in 2017-18 to reach the quarter-finals of a major European competition in their first European campaign (UEFA Europa League), while the last side to reach the semi-finals in such a season was Villarreal in 2003-04 (UEFA Cup).

3) Manchester United have reached the quarter-final stages of a major European competition for the 27th time, progressing from 17 of the previous 26. They are winless in the first leg of each of their last three two-legged quarter final matches in Europe (D2 L1).

4) Including qualifying rounds, Yangel Herrera (who is on loan from Manchester City) is Granada's top scorer in European competition this season with five goals.

5) Manchester United have scored 21 goals in European competition this season, with 13 of them being scored by either Marcus Rashford (seven goals) or Bruno Fernandes (six goals).

Probable Starting XI:

Manchester United:

Dean Henderson, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic, Daniel James, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba , Mason Greenwood.

Granada:

Silva, Vallejo, Duarte, German, Dias, Gonalons, Montoro, Kenedy, Herrera, Machis, Soldado

Form Guide:

Granada: L-L-L-W-W

Manchester United: W-L-W-W-D

Prediction:

Manchester United have always answered their critics whenever they have been in a tricky spot this season. With Bruno Fernandes pulling the strings and the return of Edinson Cavani, the Red Devils hold a qualitative advantage over Granada, who are going through a rough patch.

We predict a 3-1 win for Manchester United on the night.

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