As the old saying goes, ‘You’ve got to beat the best to be the best’.
When we were initially drawn AC Milan in the Europa League Round of 16, I was disheartened because we always manage to end up drawing the hardest teams, whilst teams like Tottenham and Arsenal get a free pass through to the next round. This tie is more difficult than Manchester City’s Champions League face-off against Borussia Mönchengladbach. But after a while, I realised that this tie is a realistic reflection of the type of games Manchester United should be playing – and winning! The result from this game will show a true representation of where this club is mentally and physically and now, I’m looking forward to it.
Going into the Round of 16, we’re still dubbed the bookies’ favourites to win the competition despite Tottenham climbing up the ranks due to Gareth Bale’s sudden switch in form. This is still an extremely promising opportunity to lift our first trophy under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and therefore, I expect Manchester United to go into the game with the same mentality as they did in Sunday’s 2-0 victory in the Manchester derby.
AC Milan’s top goal-scorer and former Manchester United forward, Zlatlan Ibrahimovic, will not be travelling to Old Trafford, which is already an advantage to the home team. However, Diego Dalot who is currently on loan at AC Milan is somehow eligible to play in the tie against his home team at Old Trafford, which could prove to be a weakness. With injuries and absences still looming amongst the United team, I imagine the line-up will look something like this:
Going into the game, I’m feeling positively optimistic about the outcome. Our impressive performance in the first leg against Real Sociedad showed that we have the ability to perform well in Europe, and the result in the Manchester derby shows we’re more than capable of challenging some of the best teams in the world – so I see no reason why we can’t get a win against AC Milan tonight.
I’m predicting a 2-0 win for Manchester United tonight. I’m confident that with Dean Henderson in goal, he’ll get another clean sheet to add to his collection. But the pressure is on the shoulders of our attackers who have a huge responsibility to create and deliver the goals for us tonight. We’ve got this!
What are your score predictions for the game?