Manchester United will face Fenerbahce, Feyenoord and Zorya Luhansk in the group stage of the Europa League. It also pits United against their former striker Robin van Persie, who is now with Fenerbahce.
Jose Mourinho said: “We all know the competition is not the same as the Champions League but to have Manchester United playing against clubs with tradition like Fenerbahce and Feyenoord is good for us. We know that it will be a difficult group, but I think that is a good thing. It is good for the fans and for the players because it will help motivation.”
People have had their say on the Europa League draw, with many claiming it to be a difficult one. Having won their first three Premier League games, these fixtures should be a done deal if Jose’s side continues to impress everyone with the current form. And practically, we will only see them improving with their team chemistry and tactics as we move further into the 2016/17 campaign.
The draw in particular, isn’t that hard, given the squad Manchester United has this season. But the challenges that come between the fixtures of Europa League and Barclays Premier League seem to be a bit of a problem for the Red Devils.
Manchester United have avoided a Europa League fixture nightmarish. They have been spared a fatiguing trip at the end of October in between away games against Liverpool and Chelsea in the Premier League.
However, in its place, Manchester United will host Fenerbahce at Old Trafford on October 20, three days prior to Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge.
Jose’s men are set to travel to Anfield on Monday, October 17, with the trip to Chelsea the following weekend on Sunday, October 23. Their Europa League group stage campaign starts with a trip to Feyenoord on September 15 and ends with a journey to Ukraine to face Zorya Luhansk on December 8, three days ahead of Tottenham’s visit Old Trafford.
The new manager will have to put his tactics to test in scenarios like these at his new club. Squad rotations will be the key to go through this phase, and we expect Jose Mourinho to be very calm and positive during that period of time, given his experience. And it will be an ace to not see the injury spree back this season.