Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur continue their quest for European glory as the Europa League returns tonight. United will host French club St Etienne at Old Trafford in the first leg of their last-32 tie, whilst Spurs travel to Belgium to take on KAA Gent.
Jose Mourinho has some difficult decisions to make in regards to team selection. Incredibly, United do not play again in the Premier League until March 4th as they continue to compete on four fronts. After tonight's game, they visit Blackburn Rovers at the weekend in the FA Cup, then play their Europa League second leg before finishing February against Southampton at Wembley in the EFL Cup final.
Ahead of tonight's clash, Mourinho has confirmed that defender Luke Shaw will be omitted from their squad for a fourth successive game. The Red Devils manager confirmed he will stick with the same back four that started the last game, he stated, "My team is playing well and I'm going to stick with Valencia, Bailly, Smalling and Blind."
Despite finishing second in the group phase, behind Fenerbahce, United have been installed as 4/1 favourites to lift the Europa League title by bookies Ladbrokes. With six teams fighting for four Champions League spots in the Premier League, winning the Europa League could represent the best chance for Champions League qualification for both United and Spurs.
Tottenham are in the Europa League last-32 after finishing a hugely disappointing Champions League campaign in third position in their group, behind Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen. Spurs were expected to, at least get into the knockout stage of the Champions League but lost at their temporary Wembley home to both sides that finished ahead of them.
"We are not afraid of anybody"
Spurs' hosts tonight, Gent, are currently down in a lowly 8th position in the Belgian league and are certainly underdogs going into tonight's clash. Manager, Hein Vanhaezebrouck, however is in confident mood ahead of the tie.
He boldly stated, "The game will be very difficult. We play against not only a team from the Premier League which is already an impressive league, but secondly a team that is fighting to win the Premier League. They did maybe not the best thing losing to Liverpool but that can happen. It's a team that plays very good football and has a lot of quality in every line. It will be a very hard task for us.
"We are Gent and we are not afraid of anybody."
Below you can find current match odds on the two Europa League games involving English clubs.
Manchester United vs St Etienne
Manchester United - 2/7
Draw - 17/4
St Etienne - 11/1
KAA Gent vs Tottenham Hotspur
KAA Gent - 15/4
Draw - 13/5
Tottenham Hotspur - 3/4
For a full list of fixtures and odds ahead of the Europa League last-32 ties, sign up to Ladbrokes via Betting Sites today.TOPICS: