Real Betis – Manchester United | 16/03/2023

Needing nothing short of a miracle to remain alive in the Europa League, Real Betis welcome Manchester United to the Benito Villamarin Stadium for Thursday’s last-16 second leg. Manuel Pellegrini’s side were put to the sword 4-1 by the Red Devils in last week’s first leg – the perfect response to their Liverpool embarrassment for Erik ten Hag’s XI.

Real Betis have a mountain to climb if they’re to progress to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League (UEL) after a thumping 4-1 defeat in the first leg gave a huge advantage to visitors Manchester United. Manager Manuel Pellegrini refuses to give in though, with the Chilean saying “I don’t think a knockout game is ever over” ahead of a first competitive meeting of the sides on Spanish soil.

Perhaps Pellegrini has good reason to believe that given he’s lost just one of seven home meetings against United throughout his career (W4, D2), with that record including a 4-1 win over the Red Devils whilst in charge of Manchester City in 2013. Continuing that trend will require Los Verdiblancos to rediscover their home form, with Betis having won just one of their last seven games at Estadio Benito Villamarín, including three losses from their last five matches.

Manchester United have already avoided defeat on two UEL trips to Spain this term (W1, D1), and a third successful visit will secure their safe passage into the quarter-finals as their three-pronged trophy hunt continues. Erik ten Hag’s men won all three of their European road trips in the group stage, although a return of just two wins from six away games in 2023 (D2, L2) suggests United can be vulnerable away from Old Trafford, as fans who made the trip to Anfield recently will attest to!

Momentum is stalling for United at the moment, with a 0-0 draw against Southampton their latest setback in a bid to consolidate their place in next year’s Champions League. Ten Hag was furious that the “game was influenced by the referee” as several penalty appeals went begging and Casemiro was sent off for the second time in three league games, although the Brazilian midfielder remains available for this trip as his ban only applies to domestic football.


Date: 16/03/2023
Time: 20:45
Venue: Estadio Benito Villamarín (Sevilla)
Pick for this match:
“2” – @ 2.13 ( BETWAY )

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