Big Match Breakdown: Sevilla v Man United
Red Devils visit Vincenzo Montella’s men
Manchester United head into the first Champions League knockout game since 2014, as the reigning Europa League winners visit Sevilla.
The Red Devils have had the more impressive campaign thus far, sitting second in the Premier League. For their part, Los Rojiblancos are fifth in La Liga – and six points outside the UCL spots.
However, they’ve picked up some good results in recent weeks while United have stumbled on their travels.
The Coral News Team take a closer look at this key clash in another Big Match Breakdown…
These sides have faced each other just once, with Sevilla winning 3-1 in a friendly at Old Trafford in 2013.
More interesting is the pair’s respective form against sides from their opponent’s country.
Sevilla faced Leicester City twice last term, coming away with a 2-1 victory and a 2-0 loss. Among their Group Stage opponents this term were Liverpool. Both games ended with score draws.
Across their history, United have won 14, drawn 20 and lost 17 against Spanish opposition. Most recently, they knocked Celta Vigo out of last season’s Europa League with a 2-1 aggregate win in the semi-finals.
Both sides have regularly employed a 4-2-3-1 system, and the Coral News Team reckon it’ll be the same again from both the hosts and visitors.
Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling are likely to be the Red Devil’s centre-back pairing again, as they were in Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Huddersfield Town.
Meanwhile, Paul Pogba is set to return to his regular spot in a defensive midfield pairing with Nemanja Matic. Romelu Lukaku started all six of United’s Group Stage games, and should lead the line again.
For Vincenzo Montella’s men, Joaquin Correa’s fitness issues mean Wissam Ben Yedder could deputise in their attacking midfield trio, alongside Franco Vazquez and Pablo Sarabia. The pacy Luis Muriel is the most likely choice as striker.
La Liga’s strikers are primarily of the pacy and tricky variety. So facing an old-fashioned target man like Lukaku will be a rather different test for Sevilla’s backline.
Out wide, Sevilla’s in-form Sarabia will prove a handful for Matteo Darmian. Many fans of the Old Trafford outfit remain unconvinced by the Italian, and the Rojiblancos winger could find him to be the visitors’ weak link.
In the match betting, a Sevilla win is 9/5 while Man United are 8/5 and there’s 21/10 for honours-even. The hosts have now won three on the trot, while United have lost back-to-back away games. So a Sevilla victory could be the best call.
The Spanish side have led 1-0 at the interval in four of their last five games, so First Half Correct Score: Sevilla 1-0 could be a smart bet at 4/1.
None of the Old Trafford club’s last six games have seen both sides register. As for Montella’s charges, their last three matches have produced a combined five strikes.
Both Teams to Score – No at 10/11 looks good, while it’s 4/6 for Under 2.5 Goals.
The one man who does look good value to find the net is Sarabia. The 25-year-old has netted in five of the last eight games, and is 3/1 to Score Anytime. Meanwhile, the former Getafe man is 17/2 to be Last Goalscorer for the third time in 2018.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing