Sevilla vs Manchester United Champions League preview

Manchester United will travel to Spain to face Sevilla in the first leg of Champions League Round of 16 on February 22nd. United will host the second leg on March 13.

This is the first meeting ever between both the clubs; so expect it to be a riveting one. Sevilla have not been at their sublime best this season. Yet, they have made it to the round of 16 after finishing second in Group E as predicted by .

The Spanish club have never made it past the round of 16 and face a boulder in their path in form of United. Eduardo Berizzo was sacked in December for the poor results. He was replaced by Vincenzo Montella but the Italian has so far failed to bring in the stability the club officials had hoped of him.

Inconsistency and poor results has been Montella’s story so far but the club reaching the Copa del Rey final could act as a silver lining for him.

Wissam Ben Yedder is likelier to cause United a lot of problems, alongside the likes of Luis Muriel and Pablo Sarabia. Ben Yedder scored six in the group stage and has five in the league. Irrespective of their hot and cold form this season, Sevilla demonstrated their threat with the classic comeback from 3-0 down against Liverpool to get a draw at home in the group stages.

Expect them to come all guns blazing in the opening leg at the Pizjuan, which can be a tough place to play for the opposition.

United, meanwhile has been wildly inconsistent recently and Jose Mourinho needs to shake up the tactics. The Red Devils have lost twice in last three away games in the league and face a tough challenge at Huddersfield in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Mourinho’s men topped their group with 15 points, ahead of the likes of FC Basel, CSKA Moscow and Benfica. Their sole blemish came away at Basel.

While United have considerably performed well this season, they got the boost in January in the form of Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean was snapped under the noses of noisy neighbours Manchester City in January from Arsenal.

Despite the Chilean star’s signing, goals haven’t flow at a premium rate. However, his availability to play in the Champions League would be a key for United.

Lately, Paul Pogba has been the focus of much criticism. The French international was hooked after half-time against Spurs and was then dropped to the bench against Huddersfield.

On Sunday, Pogba was once again substituted after United conceded a goal against Newcastle. The Magpies eventually went on to win the game, piling problems for Mourinho ahead of the trips to Huddersfield and Sevilla.

Despite a mixed form of late, Mourinho can take heart from the fact that United have a good record on their trips to Spain.

Prediction

There are no favourites for this game as both teams have had their highs and lows since the start of the 2018. Regardless of the home form, Sevilla remain a dominant force and might cause problems to United.

The Red Devils, meanwhile, have to be at their breathtaking best in order to book their place in the next round.