With the 2016/17 season coming to a close, we have reached the business end of the major tournaments around Europe. There are four teams left in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League and the final is in sight, as Manchester United travel to Spain to take on Celta Vigo in the first leg of the semi-final.
Manchester United have been the bookies favourites to win the Europa League from the start of the tournament. With the Premier League top four seemingly slipping away from them, this match takes on extra significance as they attempt to qualify for the Champions League.
Celta Vigo vs. Manchester United
UEFA Europa League Semi-final – Thursday 4th May 2017 – 9:05pm
Best Odd of: 11/5 at Ladbrokes
Celta Vigo Form
Celta Vigo find themselves in 11th place in La Liga, with 4 matches remaining this season. Eduardo Berizzo’s team cannot qualify for European football next season or get relegated, so there is nothing left for them to play for domestically.
This showed in their team selection on the weekend, as Berizzo opted to rest some first team players ahead of this match. The result was a 3-0 home defeat to Athletic Bilbao, which was Celta Vigo’s third league defeat running.
A closer look at their form shows they have won only 2 of their previous 8 matches in all competitions. Furthermore, they have been struggling to win in-front of their own fans, having picked up just 4 victories from their previous 12 games at the Estadio de Balaídos.
Manchester United Form
Manchester United suffered another set-back in their bid for the Premier League top four on the weekend as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by relegation threatened Swansea City. That result puts more emphasis on this match for the Red Devils.
However, despite only picking up a point on Sunday, Manchester United have been incredibly difficult to beat this season and have lost only 2 of their previous 40 matches in all competitions, which is a superb record.
In the Europa League, Manchester United have drawn 2 and won 2 of their last 4 away matches, including 1-1 draws against Krasnodar and Anderlecht.
This is perhaps the biggest talking point of the match. While Celta Vigo are without the injured Giuseppe Rossi and have doubts over Ruben Blanco and Carles Planas, its Manchester United who are making the news.
Unless Eric Bailly recovers from his injury on the weekend, Jose Mourinho will be without a recognised central defender for this game. The Portuguese may have to pair Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind at the heart of the Manchester United defence.
Top Betting Tips
While Manchester United may be struggling to find fit defenders, they have a full choice of forwards, excluding Zlatan Ibrahimovic and this could prove crucial.
Celta Vigo have kept only 1 clean sheet in 6 home Europa League games this season. Manchester United have scored in each of their last 5 away games in the tournament and you can get 21/20 for both teams to score.
Celta Vigo have suffered a dip in form but with so many defenders out, Manchester United are well below full strength. This will give them home team a bit of encouragement and Ladbrokes offer 11/2 for Celta Vigo to win and both teams to score.
However, Manchester United have become very resilient and will not go down easily, therefore the draw at 11/5 with Ladbrokes may be the best bet. You can also get 11/2 with William Hill for the match to finish 1-1, just like Manchester United’s recent away Europa League games.