From unwanted distraction to top priority, Manchester United’s path to the Europa League final in Stockholm on Wednesday 24th May has been an odd one. Nonetheless, they still face a tough challenge before fans can begin to book flights to Sweden, as United look to join Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Ipswich Town in having won Europe’s secondary competition.
With sides from Spain, France and Holland all looking to stand in their way, it certainly won’t be an easy task for United, despite their tag of firm favourites.Although, as the competition enters the final four, United looking increasingly confident and increasingly committed to winning the trophy.
Here, we take a look at who they will have to overcome if they are to win the Europa League title for the first time in their history…
The Spanish side will look to keep the trophy in Spain after Sevilla won the Europa League three years on the trot, following in the footsteps of Atletico Madrid, who won it twice in three years before them. The Galicians face Manchester United in the semi-final but will certainly be no pushovers.
Having beaten Real Madrid over two legs in the Copa del Rey, and having taken three points off Barcelona this season, there is every reason to believe that former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas and his team-mates can provide a real challenge to United in the penultimate round of the competition.
There is no denying that there is a lack of real star quality that some of their competitors possess, but their squad is a strong one. Captain Hugo Mallo has been linked with Barcelona of late, whilst their strike partnership sees two former Premier League players combine in Iago Aspas and former Manchester City striker John Guidetti.
Read on over the next few pages to see what the Red Devils can expect from their other competitors…