Man United v Feyenoord : Match Preview


Manchester United host Feyenoord in a return leg of the Europa league group A fixture they simply must win.

Having lost to the Dutch in Rotterdam, United will be desperate to come out of this fixture with a favorable result to kick off a busy festive period. United are third in the group with six points from four games and know that a loss will effectively end their participation in the competition. Speaking to the media, Jose Mourinho highlighted the need for a good result. "We need four points to qualify - there is no space for a defeat," the United manager said. "Tomorrow becomes a game where we have only two options, win or draw. If we have a defeat we are out."

Mourinho confirmed that Henrik Mkhitaryan will play a part in the fixture and he should be able to call on Luke Shaw who is fit again. His biggest headache will come in defense where Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling are both still unavailable through injury. A boost in defense is the surprise return of Antonio Valencia who featured against Arsenal while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back after missing out due to suspension on the weekend.

Feyenoord have a few injury problems of their own with three defensive players injured. Karim El Ahmadi has a foot injury while Eric Botteghin is suspended. Coach Gio Van Bronkhorst knows all too well that United are a different team when they play at home and that the result in Holland will count for nothing. 'We saw at De Kuip that you can get a good result against Manchester United,' said Van Bronckhorst. ‘It’s just that the approach will be different from what it was then, because United have to win. That makes this a completely different match from the one in Rotterdam.’

Betting odds and stats have United as strong favorites to win despite the result in the first leg and it’s hard to argue against that. Feyenoord have won just once in six European competition visits to England but have kept clean sheets in the last four. United have looked more assured in recent times and they must win. With a Feyenoord at full strength it may have been a more even contest but their defensive crisis will leave them vulnerable. Manchester United should win. They’ll make life hard for themselves as usual but they should win.

Published: 11/24/2016