UEL Match Preview: Granada vs Manchester United Predictions

Granada vs Manchester United

Granada vs Manchester United predictions and match preview for Thursday’s game in the UEFA Europa League. Read on for the team news, analysis and predicted lineups as Diego Martinez’s side host the Premier League giants at Los Carmenes.

  • DATE: Thursday 8th April 2021
  • KICK-OFF: 21:00 (local time)
  • VENUE: Nuevo Los Cármenes
  • COMPETITION: UEFA Europa League Quarter Final, 1st Leg

Granada vs Manchester United Preview

Granada in action in LaLiga

The latest episode in Granada’s 2020/21 European adventure pits them against one of the continent’s big names in Manchester United in the first leg of the UEL quarter final on Thursday. The Andalusians, featuring in their debut European campaign, couldn’t have been presented with a tougher challenge than the three-time European champions and 2017 winners of the Europa League.

A boost for Granada is that Spain’s restrictions on travellers from the UK were lifted at the end of March. It means this game can take place at the Nuevo Los Cármenes rather than at a neutral venue, which was the case when Real Sociedad’s home leg of the round of 32 against the Red Devils had to be shifted to Turin.

Having kicked-off their European campaign back in September of last year, few would have bet on Granada still competing in the tournament in April. But such has been their toughness this season, especially in the knockout stages. After eliminating Italian giants Napoli, Los Nazaríes beat a more humble side in Molde. Both ties were won 3-2 on aggregate, even with a mounting injury list for coach Diego Martínez.

His side, however, do not come into this clash on the back of positive results. Granada have lost both their league games since qualifying for the last 8 of the UEL. After losing 2-1 at Valencia before the international break, they were well beaten 3-0 at home to Villarreal on Saturday, a loss which ended their four game winning streak at home. Gerard Moreno ran the show with a hat-trick, two of the goals being penalties, while Jorge Molina’s missed his own late on, depriving the Andalusians of a consolation.

Anyway, the defeats haven’t really done any damage to Granada, who still remain in 9th spot, well out of any relegation threat, which is exactly what they would’ve wished for before the start of their most congested season ever. For now, Diego Martínez can turn his attention to scripting another memorable Thursday night story. “Over 180 minutes plus added time, anything can happen. The fact that we are talking here today is because this team has made the very improbable possible” said the optimistic Martínez.

Manchester United were part of Europe’s elite in the Champions League in the group stages this season, but finished third behind PSG and Leipzig to enter the UEL knockouts. They already have the experience of beating Spanish opposition this season – a hugely impressive 4-0 aggregate win over Real Sociedad, which ended their nine-match winless run against LaLiga sides. The Red Devils’ record in Spain, however, still remains poor with only one win in the last seven visits – a 1-0 victory over Celta at Balaídos in the UEL semi final first leg in 2017.

Domestically this season, Manchester United sit 14 points behind rivals Manchester City and with only eight games to go, the title race is all but over. With Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side also bowing out of the FA Cup to Leicester last month, all their focus is on the Europa League, virtually their only chance of silverware this season. United surely are the big favourites to lift this trophy and, in the previous round, also got rid of one of the other contenders in AC Milan, 2-1 on aggregate, with Paul Pogba scoring the winner in San Siro.

Granada were struggling in the Spanish third-tier when Manchester United reached back-to-back Champions League finals in 2008 and 2009. Just over a decade later, they go head-to-head for a place in the last four of the Europa League.

Head to Head

  • This will be the first ever meeting.

Team News

Hamstring injuries continue to sideline Luis Suárez and Luis Milla for Granada. Alberto Soro is also unavailable because of a knee injury. Dimitri Foulquier and Carlos Neva are back in training but are doubtful for Thursday.

United forward Anthony Martial is ruled out due to a knee injury. Eric Bailly tested positive for COVID-19 and Marcus Rashford is doubtful after sustaining a knock at the weekend against Brighton. Juan Mata is back with the squad.

Predicted Granada Starting Lineup:

Silva – Díaz, Duarte, Germán, Vallejo – Herrera, Gonalons – Kenedy Montoro, Puertas – Soldado (4-2-3-1)

Predicted Manchester United Starting Lineup:

Henderson – Shaw, Maguire, Lindelöf, Wan-Bissaka – Fred, Pogba – James, Bruno, Greenwood – Cavani (4-2-3-1)

Granada vs Manchester United Predictions

Score Prediction: Granada 1-2 Manchester United

The Red Devils are easily the most decorated European opponents to pay Granada a visit. They are favourites not only to win the tie, but to win the competition as well. It’s an uphill task for Los Nazaríes and we may see United grabbing the win on the night. The main aim for the hosts, however, will be to remain in the tie ahead of the second leg in Manchester next week.

UEFA Europa League Betting Tips (18+)

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About Akhil Rawat 41 Articles
Based in New Delhi, Akhil follows LaLiga and Spanish football religiously. Currently a novice in the world of football writing, he fancies expressing his passion for the league through words.