Why are Manchester United favorites to win the Europa League?

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José Mourinho‘s first year at the helm of Manchester United hasn’t been as positive as many previewed when he took charge last year. The Red Devils have struggled in the Premier League and they’re still fighting for a top 4 place which will earn them a Champions League entry next year. With the league title virtually decided in Chelsea‘s favor, 5 teams will keep battling each other to get one of those golden tickets for next season.

That being said, there’s a very realistic chance that United may end up falling out of that top 4 group and fails, once again, to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. For a club like United, missing the Champions League stages two seasons in a row isn’t acceptable at all… However, this year there’s a plan B in every United fan’s mind and it goes by the name of Europa League.

As UEFA confirmed last year, from now on, the team winning the Europa League will immediately earn a place in the Champions League the year after. That’s motivation enough for a team like United, particularly in a year where they’re struggling this much to secure a top 4 spot.

Paul Pogba in Manchester United in 2017

Paul Pogba in Manchester United in 2017

Not only that, but if we look at the opposition Man United is facing in the Premier League for these much-wanted spots (Tottenham, Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal) and the teams still competing in the Europa League, it does look Mourinho and his men might have slightly more chances of going all the way in the Europa League rather than finishing in the top 4.

Manchester United were drawn against Anderlecht in the quarter-finals, a team who comes off beating APOEL Nicosia in the previous round and who are currently leading their league in Belgium. As confirmed by our friends and experts from footballbets.tips, United are naturally heavy favorites going into this tie and they’ll also have the advantage of playing the 2nd leg at Old Trafford.

José Mourinho knows what it takes to win this competition, since he already lifted the trophy back in 2003, when he was FC Porto manager. The competition was then called UEFA Cup and the Portuguese would win the UEFA Champions League the year after. He’ll definitely be looking to do something similar in United this time around…

In the players’ heads, it’s also easy to understand where their motivation levels will be higher. In one side, they’re just a few steps away from clinching an European title and on the other, they’ll be probably playing to secure a 3rd or 4th place in the league.

Sources: nbcsports.com / skysports.com

Juan Mata in Manchester United in 2017

Juan Mata in Manchester United in 2017