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Europa League Preview: Omonia Nicosia vs Manchester United

Manchester United head into their latest Europa League group game desperately needing to add another three points to their tally.

The Red Devils were beaten 1-0 by Real Sociedad in their opening match, before bouncing back to secure a comfortable 2-0 victory over Sheriff Tiraspol.

They head into their third outing at Omonia Nicosia on Thursday as overwhelming favourites with the top football betting sites in Ireland to record another victory.

The Cypriot side have lost their first two matches in the competition by a combined 5-1 scoreline and will find it tough to compete with the Premier League giants.

Erik ten Hag’s side are on a recovery mission after suffering a woeful 6-3 defeat at Manchester City on Sunday and they will be keen to put that result behind them.

Ten Hag will have plenty to ponder in the run-up to the game, particularly when it comes to deciding who will be in his starting XI.

While a top four finish in the Premier League is the main aim this season, the Europa League offers a viable route back into the Champions League.

On that basis, it would be a major surprise if the Dutchman decided not to field a strong line-up for United’s latest venture into Europe.

With fitness doubts hanging over Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof will probably partner Lisandro Martinez at centre-back.

Luke Shaw is expected to get the nod ahead of Tyrell Malacia at left-back, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka will hope to replace Diogo Dalot on the opposite flank.

Casemiro and Fred will most likely be preferred in midfield, with Bruno Fernandes fancied to start instead of Christian Eriksen in the playmaking role.

Antony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo and Antony are expected to start in attack for a game United will be eager to put to bed without too many problems.

Martial will be keen to build on his two-goal cameo against City, while Ronaldo has a point to prove after being left on the bench for that game.

United will need to keep a close eye on Omonia forward Bruno, who has netted on his last four appearances for the Cypriot outfit.

His tally included their only goal in the Europa League to date, which came during the 2-1 defeat at Sociedad.

There are several familiar names in the opposition ranks, including former Celtic striker Gary Hooper and ex-Man City academy graduate Brandon Barker.

The team are managed by former Celtic boss Neil Lennon, who was appointed on a two-and-a-half-year deal in March 2022.

Omonia have made an indifferent start to the season in the Cypriot First Division, winning three of their first five matches.

They triumphed 2-0 at Doxa in their most recent outing, but are not expected to cause United too many problems.

A victory here would set United up nicely for the reverse fixture next week and the subsequent group games against Sheriff (H) and Sociedad (A).