Manchester United will be facing Real Betis on the road in the second leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie today.
The Red Devils secured a resounding 4-1 win over the Spanish outfit at Old Trafford last week. The margin of victory could have been wider, had Wout Weghorst and Antony capitalised on their chances.
The club are already firm favourites to make the last eight of the European competition but manager Erik ten Hag has still emphasised that he will select a strong side for the second leg in Seville.
Hence, we don’t expect wholesale changes to the line-up. Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes are likely to start despite being a booking away from being suspended for the first leg of the quarter-final.
David de Gea had a mixed outing against Betis in the first leg where he almost gifted a goal. However, he was back to his best on Sunday with two crucial saves in the goalless Premier League draw against Southampton. The Spaniard is expected to start.
In defence, we anticipate a couple of changes. Diogo Dalot was an unused substitute last weekend after previously starting four games in a row at right-back. The Portuguese is likely to be reinstated into the starting XI today ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
At the heart of the backline, Ten Hag is likely to give a breather to Raphael Varane. This could see Harry Maguire partner Lisandro Martinez, who accompanied the manager in yesterday’s press conference. Luke Shaw should continue at left-back ahead of Tyrell Malacia.
Casemiro is suspended for the next four domestic games and it is quite clear that he will start this evening. The Brazilian star will have to be cautious as a yellow card would see him suspended for the first leg of the quarter-final tie.
He is likely to be accompanied by Fred, who was a late substitute on Sunday. The Brazilian has been an unsung hero in United’s midfield lately. He had a superb month of February and should partner his compatriot in the centre of the park.
Further forward, United will be without Antony, who has been ruled out with an illness. Alejandro Garnacho is also sidelined with an ankle injury. Hence, Facundo Pellistri is in contention to make his full United debut from the right wing.
Pellistri has been lively in his six cameo appearances this term. He was indirectly involved in United’s fourth goal against Betis last week. The Uruguayan could now get his opportunity to impress from the starting line-up for the Red Devils.
Elsewhere, Bruno Fernandes should start in his customary number 10 position while Jadon Sancho could feature on the left side of the attack. Ten Hag may opt to start Marcus Rashford on the bench on the back of his heavy workload lately.
Up front, Wout Weghorst should start his 17th game in a row. The Dutchman has been ever-present in United’s starting line-up since his arrival from Burnley on loan in January.
He has only four goal contributions but will be hoping to make an impact today. Anthony Martial has been left out of the travelling squad as he continues to recover from a nagging hip issue.
How Man Utd could line up vs Real Betis
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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