When Manchester United faces Sheriff Tiraspol in Group E action on Thursday evening, they will be looking to get at least one point in the match to go on in the competition and advance to the knockout stages.
The Red Devils are now in the second position, three points behind Real Sociedad who are undefeated, while the Moldovan visitors to Old Trafford are currently in third place in the group and have just one victory to their name.
Our Match Preview: Manchester United vs Sheriff Tiraspol
After Jorginho’s penalty put Chelsea ahead at Stamford Bridge, Man United’s midfield general Casemiro saved a late point.
As a result of McTominay’s late triumph on matchday four, Francis Uzoho, the Omonia substitute goalie, went uncompensated, and Man United now just needs a point from their next two games to qualify.
Erik ten Hag’s side is still playing catchup in the fight for a top-four berth, and in the Europa League, Real Sociedad leads Group E with 12 points, while Man United is in second.
McTominay’s late victory on matchday four left stand-in Omonia goalkeeper Francis Uzoho unrewarded, leaving Man United needing only a point from their last two games to qualify.
The Red Devils are undefeated in their previous six games in all competitions, and they haven’t lost two group-stage European games at Old Trafford since 1996-97.
Sheriff Tiraspol recently switched to a three-man backline, but the Moldovan powerhouses have battled with Group E’s big boys.
Sheriff was beaten 2-0 by Man United on matchday two and twice by Real Sociedad by an aggregate score of 5-0. Any slender aspirations the visitors have of advancing will be shattered if they lose at Old Trafford.
Pointless Omonia is the most probable consolation prize for the visitors, who lost 1-0 to Petrocub at the weekend. Vladimir Ambros’s header on the stroke of halftime was the difference.
After the loss, manager Stjepan Tomas resigned unexpectedly, blaming his team’s lack of domestic form on their trip to Old Trafford.
Uneven Moldovan winners have won just four of their last nine matches in all tournaments. Three Europa League away wins are their record. They are unlikely to become the first Moldovan squad to defeat English opponents in Europe.
Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo scored when Man United beat Sheriff 2-0 earlier this season. The new boss bounce cannot arrive soon enough for a Sheriff club reeling after Tomas’s leave.
Our Team News: Manchester United vs Sheriff Tiraspol
Raphael Varane’s knee injury at the weekend against Chelsea was a devastating setback for both his club and country since he is not likely to feature for Manchester United again until the World Cup. Consequently, Victor Lindelof will fill in for the rest of the week.
Much of the discussion in the lead-up to the game at Stamford Bridge centered on the potential return of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was left out of the team after he refused to come in as a substitute in the victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, and Donny van de Beek are all out with injuries, but Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Anthony Martial have all returned to Red Devils training.
However, Ten Hag should continue playing his best eleven to secure qualifying as quickly as feasible.
Meanwhile, Sheriff’s recent problems have been disciplinary rather than injury-based; right-back Armel Zohouri will be missing this encounter after being sent off in the 3-0 defeat to Sociedad on matchday four.
Positively, Iyayi Atiemwen and Moussa Kyabou can both return after sitting out the previous match due to bans, however, Kyabou has missed his team’s past three domestic matches for reasons that remain unclear.
At Old Trafford, Atiemwen might join Rasheed Akanbi and Felipe Vizeu in the attacking third, while Dumitru Celeadnic has lately replaced Maksym Koval in goal.
- Manchester United Possible Starting Lineup Options: De Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Shaw, Casemiro, Eriksen, Antony, Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford.
- Sheriff Tiraspol Possible Starting Lineup Options: Celeadnic, Kiki, Radeljic, Kpozo, Guedes, Badolo, Salifu, Heron, Akanbi, Vizeu, Atiemwen.
Our Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Sheriff Tiraspol
Man United, who was so dominating last week that they blew away Tottenham at Old Trafford and should have no problem doing the same thing to a managerless Sheriff, will have been devastated to come away from Stamford Bridge with just a point to their name.
The visitors have not shown much of an appetite for goals in Europe of late, so Man United may cruise to another two-goal victory and into the quarterfinals.