CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PREVIEW: UNITED V SEVILLA


Setting the scene: A place in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League is up for grabs in the second of three crucial home games in succession for Jose Mourinho’s men, who welcome Sevilla to Old Trafford on Tuesday night for the decisive second leg in the last-16 tie. After a goalless first-leg in Andalucia three weeks ago, it’s winner takes all at the Theatre of Dreams as the Reds look to reach the last eight of Europe’s elite competition for the first time since 2014.

How can I watch it? Tuesday’s big match kicks off at 19:45 GMT and will be broadcast live on BT Sport in the UK. MUTV subscribers will be able to watch build-up from 17:45 GMT on the Match Day show and listen to radio commentary of the game before watching it in full from midnight. You can also follow the action as it happens via ManUtd.com’s live match blog and @ManUtd on Twitter.

What’s the team news? The boss has confirmed that Anthony Martial is fit to return following a two-game absence through injury, after the Frenchman and Zlatan Ibrahimovic trained on Monday morning. Paul Pogba was involved later in Monday’s session at the Aon Training Complex, but Mourinho is unsure yet whether he will be able to face Sevilla. Fellow midfielder Marouane Fellaini could be pushing for a start after returning as a substitute against Liverpool following a speedy recovery from knee surgery. Phil Jones, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Ander Herrera have also missed recent matches. Meanwhile, Sevilla will be without former Manchester City player Jesus Navas, who wasn’t included in the 22-man squad that travelled to Manchester because of an injury to his right calf.

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How have we been doing? United enter the game on the back of a morale-boosting run of three consecutive wins in the Premier League. The Reds came from behind to beat both Chelsea and Crystal Palace before seeing off arch rivals Liverpool 2-1 on Saturday – a crucial victory which consolidated second place in the league. Now, attention turns to further progression in Europe and the Reds will be confident of maintaining our strong home form, having won all five games at Old Trafford in all competitions so far in 2018.

What about Sevilla? The Andalusian side, who won the Europa League in three successive seasons prior to the Reds’ triumph last term, have won two and lost two of their four games since the first leg on 21 February. They currently sit fifth in La Liga, but their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season were dealt a blow at the weekend after a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to fourth-placed Valencia. Prior to that, Vincenzo Montella’s men had recorded back-to-back league wins – 1-0 away at Malaga and 2-0 at home to Athletic Club – which helped to make up for the disappointment of a 5-2 loss at home to second-placed Atletico Madrid.

What happened in the first leg? David De Gea was undoubtedly the stand-out performer as the Reds played out a goalless draw in southern Spain three weeks ago to keep the tie alive. The Spaniard, back in his homeland, made several key saves including a stunning one-handed stop to keep out Luis Muriel’s close-range header on the stroke of half-time to ensure that it’s all to play for in the second leg at Old Trafford.

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One to watch: One man who has been in form of late for the visitors is Pablo Sarabia. The Spanish midfielder had only scored once prior to the turn of the year, but has since netted five goals in Sevilla’s last eight matches and has become one of their top goal scorers in the process. He will be hoping to replicate this form in the Champions League, where he is yet to score a goal.

How are Sevilla doing? The Spaniards currently sit in fifth position in La Liga, one place worse off than where they finished last season. Since playing United three weeks ago, Sevilla have lost one and won two of their three league matches. A 5-2 defeat at home to Atletico Madrid was followed up with a 1-0 away win over Malaga and a 2-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao. A victory against United would put them into the last eight for the first time since 1958.

What’s our record like against Spanish opposition? The Reds have largely struggled against teams from Spain in Europe, winning just 13 of our previous 51 games. But United will have fond memories of the last occasion we welcomed a Spanish side to Old Trafford – in May last year when the Reds booked a place in the UEFA Europa League final as a 1-1 draw completed a 2-1 aggregate win over Celta Vigo in the semi-finals of the competition.

Did you know? Tuesday’s game will be the first time that Sevilla have visited Old Trafford for a competitive European fixture. However, they did take part in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial back in August 2013, winning 3-1.

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Who’s the referee? Danny Makkelie will take charge of his first United game and lead a Dutch team of officials on Tuesday night. The 35-year-old, from Willemstad, has already handled four Champions League matches this term – including games involving Liverpool, Chelsea and Celtic during the group stage.

When is the quarter-final draw? Should United progress, the draw for the last eight of the Champions League is set to take place at 11:00 GMT on Friday 16 March. The draw will be streamed live on UEFA’s website and broadcast on BT Sport in the UK. The Reds will be hoping to join Manchester City, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Juventus in the quarter-finals.

Rivals Watch: Following the four ties that were played last week, there are four more last-16 games taking place this week. Here’s the full fixture list:

Tuesday 13 March
Manchester United v Sevilla
Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk

Wednesday 14 March
Besiktas v Bayern Munich
Barcelona v Chelsea

All games will kick off at 19:45 GMT

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