Manchester United plays at Celta eyeing Europa League final berth
- Author: Julie Sanders May 06, 2017,
May 06, 2017, 22:39
Arsenal will look to keep their top-four hopes alive when they host one of their competitors for a Champions League spot in Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Wenger has guided Arsenal to a third FA Cup final in four years but that has done little to curtail calls for his exit, especially after Sunday's 2-0 north London derby defeat at Tottenham means Spurs will finish above their neighbours for the first time since 1995. A triumph in the Europa League would send the team back to the UEFA Champions League, an especially important step considering United's current position in the Premier League.
Another sad news for the Gunners is Lucas Perez's absence against United but they will be boosted by the return of Mustafi. "We have respect", Wenger said.
With this in mind, Jose Mourinho used the press conference ahead of the first leg of their semifinal against Celta Vigo to talk up what an achievement a Europa League win would be.
"The number of clubs that can fight at the top is bigger this season and the difference between the teams is smaller".
"We want to go with a perspective, a chance of winning".
'Our support is very good - we need the fans and want to win for them'.
Arsene Wenger has never defeated Mourinho in a competitive match but can ill afford not to on Sunday, with Arsenal six points off a top four spot with just a single game in hand.
Mourinho has been critical of Jones and Smalling's unwillingness to play through the pain barrier and doesn't expect them to rush back meaning right-back Mateo Darmian, midfielder Michael Carrick or 19-year-old Axel Tuanzebe could deputise at the heart of the defence.
The 8/1 enhancement on Manchester United to beat Celta Vigo is sure to attract lots of interest given the Premier League leaders are 17/10 favourites to win and take a step closer to their second title in three seasons.
However, one man that will not be playing against United in the semi-final will be ex-Red Devils strike Giuseppe Rossi, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament three weeks ago. "We have great goalkeepers and whoever we play in goal, I trust them completely".
A disciple of famed fellow Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa, Berizzo had been asked whether he had watched the older manager's victory over United with Athletic Bilbao in the 2011-12 Europa League.