On paper, Manchester United should easily win Group E of the Europa League. However, Erik Ten Hag’s team is in second place in the table, behind Real Sociedad (Sheriff and Omonia complete the area). If these locations are maintained until the phase is closed, the result will cause a headache for Cristiano Ronaldo and company.
In England they report that there is some concern about the place in the table of the ‘Red Devils’ in the second most important tournament of the ‘Old Continent’. It happens that all the runners-up will have to fight for a ticket to the round of 16 against all the best third-placed teams in the Champions League.
In the absence of two days to complete the groups, those of the Premier League added nine points, three less than the 12 of the leader Real Sociedad. The English team will face Sheriff this Thursday and the Spanish will face Omonia. Finally, the two will face each other next week in San Sebastián in a duel that could define the leader.
What rivals would Manchester United face?
If United stay second in their group, they will not be able to avoid the Champions League clubs. So, from there the anguish is generated in the ‘Teatro de los Sueños’ due to the atypical campaign on the road for the ‘Orejona’.
And it is that the draw can cross those of Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, with Barcelona. There is also a potential crossing with Seville, the most successful in this competition. Ajax, a former Ten Hag team, is another candidate.
In the absence of a day in the Champions League, the cases of some areas that would send teams like Atlético de Madrid or Tottenham to the Europa League are pending. It is clear that if they are not the ‘Spurs’, they are ruled out as Manchester’s rivals. Shakhtar Donetsk, Red Bull Salzburg, Sporting Lisboa, Eintracht Frankfurt or Marseille must also define it next week.
What must Manchester United do to be a leader?
If the trend continues, United and Real must overcome their opponents on matchday five: Sheriff and Omonia, respectively. In that scenario. English and Spanish would go with 12 and 15, respectively, to the final day. At the moment, the representative of LaLiga has the advantage after winning 0-1 at Old Trafford last month.
Then, those of Ten Hag will have to improve that 0-1 (win by more goals in Spain) to equalize both in 15 points. But in the match between the two, with victories for each, the goal difference will be vital.
Ronald Payne is a journalist working for the 24 News Recorder. He specializes in writing opinion pieces and is well known for his insightful analysis and thought-provoking perspectives. With a passion for uncovering the truth and a commitment to informed commentary, Ronald is a valued voice.