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Sheriff Tiraspol vs Manchester United – Preview & Prediction

Manchester United take a trip to Moldova to take on Sheriff Tiraspol in the second round of the 2022/23 Europa League group stage this week.

Erik ten Hag’s side slumped to an underwhelming 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford in their curtain-raising Group E fixture. 

United’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace at the weekend has been postponed due to Queen Elizabeth II’s death, handing them an extra couple of days to prepare for this match-up. 

While the Red Devils disappointed against the Spaniards, Sheriff got their first Europa League group phase campaign since 2017/18 off to a flying start. 

Stjepan Tomas’ team produced a stellar performance at Omonia on matchday one to claim an overwhelming 3-0 victory.

However, Man Utd should present them with a different type of challenge, even though most of the information we have suggests the English heavyweights are not in the best mood now.

Aware that lifting the Europa League trophy offers an alternative route into the Champions League, ten Hag’s lads should take this trip seriously, though.

Match Preview

Sheriff Tiraspol

Sheriff squeezed past Pyunik Yerevan in their Europa League play-off tie to reach the competition’s group phase for the first time in five years but have never progressed beyond this stage. 

If their dazzling showing in Cyprus is anything to go by, the perennial Moldovan champions are eager to prove last season’s 2-1 Champions League win at Real Madrid was no fluke.

But to achieve that goal, Sheriff will have to defy their 100% losing ratio against Premier League clubs in major European competitions, having lost both previous such fixtures via an aggregate score of 4-1.

Manchester United

The abovementioned defeat to Sociedad curtailed Man Utd’s promising run of four consecutive Premier League triumphs and showed ten Hag’s men that there’s no room for complacency.

With Cristiano Ronaldo likely to be handed his second consecutive start, the Red Devils’ hopes of extending an impressive streak of 15 European travels in which they scored at least once are safe and sound. 

Despite a faltering Europa League start, ten Hag has only lost twice in his 20 away matches across major European competitions as a manager (W12, D6), which seems like a good omen. 

How could Manchester United line up against Sheriff?

After featuring in the starting line-up against Sociedad, Harry Maguire should retain his place to enable Lisandro Martinez to rest after commencing all five Premier League matches since arriving from Ajax.

Casemiro, who has yet to start in the Premier League, should keep Fred company in the double-pivot, while Antony may shift to the bench in favour of Jadon Sancho. 

Ronaldo is likely to lead the line again, even though he has yet to score in competitive action this season. 

(4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot; Casemiro, Fred; Anthony Elanga, Christian Eriksen, Jadon Sancho; Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Sheriff Tiraspol vs Manchester United Prediction

Not that we are biased, but Man Utd should make no mistake against sub-par Sheriff if they are to prove they mean business in the Europa League this season. 

With the firepower at ten Hag’s disposal outmatching the Moldovan’s defensive capacities by some margin, we expect the Red Devils to cruise to a landslide victory. 

Sheriff Tiraspol 0-2 Manchester United