In his first season at the helm at Old Trafford Jose Mourinho has quickly become a fan favourite.
Not because of their performances in the Premier League – although they haven’t been too shabby – but due to their continued impressive results in the Europa League. The Red Devils have made it into the semi-finals of the prestigious competition and have been drawn against Spanish outfit Celta Vigo.
Eduardo Berizzo’s side haven’t been the shining stars in the league this season – currently sitting in 11th – but have surprised everyone in Europe with some impressive victories. Some may say that their route to the final four has been a fairly simple one, but they’ll show their true potential if they manage to overcome one of the biggest sides in England.
It’s hardly a surprise at how well Celta have done this season, as they boast some brilliant players within their ranks. Three of those are all attackers who are well known names across England, and although their careers might not have reached their peak in the Premier League, they have proved many wrong in their exploits abroad.
The first of those being Iago Aspas, who some will still label as the “worst Liverpool signing of all time.” After making the move to Merseyside from Celta in 2013, Aspas didn’t cover himself in glory with just 14 appearances to his name, not managing to find the net once.
However, he will be in Mourinho’s mind when deciding which side to start with on Thursday scoring 31 goals in 64 appearances since he returned to Vigo in 2015.
Another who may cause United a threat, will be a name the fans know well. John Guidetti spent seven years at rivals Manchester City – although he didn’t make a senior appearance – as well as loan spells at Burnley, Stoke and Celtic.
Now somewhat settled in Spain, the 25 year-old only has 10 goals in his 49 appearances for the club, but is known for his attacking prowess and his striker’s brain.
The final attacker will also be known by United fans as he spent two years at the club in his early career. Giuseppe Rossi is currently on loan from Italian side Fiorentina and has four goals in his 16 appearances. A regular Italian international from the age of 16, United have to consider Rossi as a potential threat.
With the mounting injury list that Mourinho is having to deal with, his starting XI tomorrow is anyone’s guess. However, with such a talented amount of players available to him, the Portuguese manager should not be worried.
Developing the nickname of the draw specialists thanks to their Premier League form, United will do very well to travel to Spain and come home with the victory. A draw will be extremely useful, however having come the far Mourinho will want the win and their superior quality will provide them with just that.
Prediction: Celta Vigo 1-2 Manchester United