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Three Important Things Manchester United Should Do To Progress To The Europa League Finals

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Jose Mourinho Manchester United manager

Manchester United

Three Things Manchester United Need To Do To Beat Celta Vigo

Manchester United will take on Celta Vigo in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League semifinals on Thursday night at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils’ entire hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League next season hinge on them winning the Europa League, after their weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in the Premier League. United come into the game with a 1-0 lead from the first leg last week, thanks to a Marcus Rashford stunner. Manager Jose Mourinho will be hoping that his wards deliver on Thursday night and progress to finals of the competition in Stockholm.

To that end, here are three things that United will need to do, in order to come unscathed from the game and have a go at winning the trophy:

Eric Bailly Has To Start In Defence

Eric Bailly, in his first season with Manchester United, has become such a vital cog in the scheme of things for Mourinho. The Ivorian is by far one of the stand out performers for the Red Devils this season.

But the manager opted to rest him for the Arsenal game and the result was there for all to see. Without Bailly, the United defence looks much weaker and susceptible. The 22-year old has shown great tenacity at the back over the course of the season and has made use of his good pace and strong physicality to come out on top of attackers. It was an aspect that was missing from United’s clash against Arsenal.

The defender was most likely rested for the game keeping in view of the semi-finals and it is imperative that Mourinho has him in his starting line-up at Old Trafford, if United are to go through to the mega event.

Eric Bailly of Manchester United
Eric Bailly

Keep Iago Aspas Tied Down

Celta may be languishing at 12th place in the La Liga table this season, but one of their attackers, Iago Aspas has been in exceptional form so far.

The former Liverpool man has had an excellent campaign, having scored 24 goals and 8 assists so far from 45 appearances across all competitions. His 17-goal tally in the La Liga is the 4th best in the competition, only next to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Aspas also has scored 5 times in the Europa League this term, making him Celta’s biggest asset.

Playing on the right-side of the attacking triumvirate, the 29-year old is always on the look out to exploit the inner left channels and so Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind will need to be at the top of their games if they are to stop Aspas on Thursday.

Iago Aspas
Iago Aspas

Attack From The Word Go

Over the course of the season, goals have been a huge point of concern for Mourinho and Manchester United. The United attackers have been very profligate in front of goal, which has often come back to bite them.

However, with just a slender one-goal advantage, Mourinho cannot look to play it safe. Instead he will have to set his team up in such a way that they are always on the prowl for another goal early in the game that could seal the tie in their favour. A 1-0 first leg advantage can be a tricky one and United will need to be on the attack from the kick-off and look to put the game to bed at the earliest.