MANCHESTER United begin their Europa League campaign against Dutch side Feyenoord on Thursday. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) shares his view.
Feyenoord v Manchester United | Thursday 18:00 | BT Sport Europe
It’s all just a bit of a ball-ache for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho. They’ve just splashed out a world record transfer fee for Paul Pogba yet they find themselves out in the cold of the Europa League. Oh, the indignity.
It’s clear that the club aren’t particularly enamoured by it and that’s already been shown by the fact that Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard have been rested and told to stay in England.
Despite their indifference to the competition it’s unlikely they’ll down tools. Jose Mourinho is a proud guy and it wouldn’t look good on his CV if his side failed to get out the group. They’ll do what’s required to finish in the Top 2.
Their opponents on Thursday are Feyenoord. The Dutch side have won all five of their matches in the Eredivisie this season and sit proudly at the top of the table.
Former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt has been in flying form with three goals in his last two matches and you can imagine he’ll be fired up for this clash tonight.
Feyenoord finished third in last season’s Dutch league but were miles behind the top two in PSV and Ajax and their match on Sunday against the former should tell us whether they can bridge that gap.
PSV of course knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League last season but there’s no doubt the Old Trafford outfit are a lot stronger this time round.
The summer acquisitions look like good business and despite being at times outclassed by their city rivals last Saturday there’s still every hope of them challenging for the title and perhaps this trophy.
Gio Van Bronkhorst’s side have made a flying start domestically but they should meet their match here against potentially one of the top sides in Europe.
With the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Marcus Rashford possibly taking to the field here we can expect a strong, fiery performance from this wounded side and I’ll back them to win and both teams to score at 3/1 with William Hill.
Let’s pay the Dutch side some respect. They’re averaging three goals a game at the moment and although United have a mean defence I’m hoping they can nick one in what should be a decent game.
Feyenoord v Manchester United – Manchester United to win and both teams to score (3/1 William Hill)