EPL: Manchester United v Celta Vigo Preview

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It's England versus Spain as Manchester United and Celta Vigo get ready to lock horns in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final tie.


Jose Mourinho’s will have felt pretty chuffed with his side’s dominant performance in Spain last week. Regardless of the position of the opposition, English sides do not traditionally travel to Spain all that well, and United truly dominated every aspect of the game. Were it not for Sergio Alvarez, it may have been a rather ugly night for Celta. Eduardo Berizzo’s side will need to do a lot better this week to just be competitive. Their domestic form has taken a turn for the worse and their eggs have all been effectively put into the Europa League basket. The same can be said for United, emphasising just how critical this game is for both sides.
 
Manchester United v Celta Vigo | Thursday 11 May | Old Trafford | 21:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Man United 11/20 | Draw 3/1 | Celta 5/1

Manchester United
United’s exceptionally deflated performance against Arsenal was indicative of both their injury concerns and the fact that they have turned all their attention here. They made eight changes to the starting line-up and will clearly ring the changes for this game. Darmian will likely start at left-back while Blind partners Baily in a defensive partnership that looked watertight last week. Juan Mata may have to once again be content with a place on the bench as Mkhitaryan has been exceptional in this tournament with four goals thus far.
 
Fellaini is perhaps rather fortunate to be available for selection after he surely should have been shown a second yellow card last week. He may once again prove the weak link in midfield and I should expect that Herrera will need to do the lion’s share of work in there. Marcus Rashford was the difference last week and the ebullient young Englishman has been exceptional since Zlatan was forced out through injury. Paul Pogba’s absence against Arsenal was glaring. He really dominated Celta last week with his athleticism and ability to spin off midfielders in the center of the park. The sheer amount of games they have played is a concern and they will just be looking to see this though. Jose will do well not to get too defensive and invite the Spanish side to monopolise possession.

Celta Vigo 
Eduardo Berizzo’s side have had a rough time domestically of late. They have lost six of their last seven games in La Liga and have clearly completely prioritised Europa success. They will need to be a lot better than last week if they stand any chance of overturning this deficit. They will take heart from their Round of 32 performance against Shakthar Donetsk. They lost the opening home leg, only to force the second leg in the Ukraine to extra time, ultimately progressing. So there is clearly some grit in this side and they will need to show it this week.

John Guidetti will have to hold the ball up a lot better than last week. Waas and Aspas were unable to really influence the game without the big centre-forward. Radoja and Hernandez had a bit of a shocker trying to contain the midfield running power of Pogba and Herrera. They will need to tighten up and perhaps sit a bit deeper this week. I think Celta will benefit from the fact that Mourinho is taciturn by nature and may look to sit back and be reactive this week.

Verdict: Draw 3/1 
United’s injury woes have obviously been a concern. And the way they just managed to sneak across the line against Anderlecht in the last fixture shows that they have shown vulnerabilities at home in Europe this year. Celta won’t quite have enough to progress, but I think value dictates that a Mourinho-esque United will limp across the line, despite their obvious superiority on the field.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.

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