Match preview for Granada CF vs Manchester United FC
Granada and Manchester United will face each other on Thursday evening at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes, in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals. The Red Devils are seen as favourites by the bookmakers, both to qualify for the semifinals and in this first leg.
Granada managed an amazing European season by qualifying to the quarterfinals at their first ever appearance in a European competition. The Andalusians were more than decent in the league as well, but due to some recent poor results they seem to be out of the race for European football next season. Dieting Martinez’s team is going through a poor run of form that started before the international break and which it seems to continue after it as well. After losing the second leg against Molde 1-2(result that still saw them qualified after their 2-0 in the first leg), Granada suffered two losses in La Liga as well, first away against Valencia 1-2 and then last weekend at home against Villarreal 0-3. Because of that last defeat Granada are now 10 points behind Villarreal who are 6th. For the first game against Manchester United, Diego Martinez has a few unavailable players, Carlos Neva, Dimitri Foulquier and Quini will definitely be unavailable while Luis Suarez and Neyder Lozano accused medical problems as well and are uncertain.
Manchester United are very confident of their presence in the Champions League next season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team are still second in the Premier League far from the leader Manchester City, but 9 points in front of the 5th placed team, Chelsea, after their 2-1 win against Brighton last weekend. These things considered there may be some questions regarding United’s interest in the Europa League because generally the big clubs see winning the Europa League only as another way of qualifying to the Champions League. Nevertheless Europa League is the only competition that can bring United a trophy this season and it could be Solskjaer’s first trophy since becoming Man United manager. United has a few unavailable players for this match, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Phil Jones are injured, Eric Bailly tested positive for Covid-19 while Alex Telles and Marcus Rashford are uncertain.
Granada will be the 11th Spanish club that United faces in a European meeting. By reaching the quarterfinals at their debut season the Spanish team managed to match RB Leipzig’s performance in the 2017-2018 season. Only Villarreal has a better performance in a European debut season, semifinal in UEFA Cup in the 2003-2004 season. Manchester United will play their 27th European quarterfinal.- in 17 of the previous 26 occasions they managed to qualify to the semifinals. United scored 21 goals this season in Europe and 13 of those goals were scored by two players, Rashford(7) and Bruno Fernandes(6).