Teams in the Europa League are set to battle for their future in the competition as the group stages draw to a close on Thursday.
Manchester United will be heading to Spain for their final showdown of the group stage to face Real Sociedad. The Spaniards secured an unlikely 1-0 victory at Old Trafford courtesy of a controversial penalty converted by Brais Mendez. This match will be broadcast on Go Football (channel 31) at 6:40pm.
United’s manager, Erik Ten Hag is desperate to see his side finish top of the group to avoid an extra two-legged fixture in the competition next year. “I told the players weeks ago it was important to win the group. We want to win all the games, but it’s clear, we want to avoid [finishing second in the group]”, the Dutchman said ahead of United’s 1-0 victory against Omonia Nicosia at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils will be wary of their poor record against Spanish teams, but they can draw inspiration from their last outing at the Estadio Anoeta for Round 32 of the 2020/21 Europa League season when they bagged a 4-0 victory. This time, they must outscore the Basque team by more than two goals to claim top spot.
United’s English counterpart, Arsenal also needs victory against Zurich FC at the Emirates Stadium to fend off competition from PSV Eindhoven for Group A’s top spot. After last week’s defeat at the hand of Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s team, Mike Arteta will be keen to see his side claim a much needed victory against the Swiss visitors. The match will be broadcast on Go Football (channel 31) at 8:55pm.
Another crunch clash to look forward to is Roma’s tie against Ludogorets showing on SuperSport La Liga (channel 32) at 8:55pm. Jose Mourinho is faced with a dilemma. If his team wins, they will progress to the next round to take on a team dropping from the Champions League. If they lose, they will exit the competition and drop to the Europa Conference League to defend the trophy they won last season.
But, the Portuguese already registered his displeasure about the prospect of playing against a failed Champions League team. “They shouldn’t come but it’s the reality. It’s going to be fun. The failures of the Champions League”, he said ahead of his team’s match against Real Betis last week.
Other games to watch include AS Monaco vs Red Star Belgrade on Go LaLiga (channel 32) at 6:40pm and Feyenoord vs Lazio on Go Select 2 (channel 34) at 6:40pm.
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