Manchester United’s road to redemption after a humiliating derby defeat to Manchester City starts in Cyprus as they meet Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League.
Pep Guardiola’s side knocked the Red Devils down from a four-match winning Premier League streak on Sunday, cruising to an overwhelming 6-3 win at the Etihad Stadium.
After being brought back down to earth, Erik ten Hag’s men may want to project the frustrations onto a weaker opponent and solidify their pursuit of a top-two finish in Group E.
Man Utd endured a faltering Europa League start as Real Sociedad eked out a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford in the group stage curtain-raising fixture.
However, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo scored inside the opening 40 minutes of play to hand ten Hag’s team a comfortable 2-0 away triumph over Sheriff Tiraspol on the eve of the international break.
But level on points with the Moldavians and three clear of basement boys Omonia, United can ill-afford a poor result against the Cypriot Cup winners if they’re to retain the runner-up spot.
Anything other than three points will likely rule the home side out of contention for a spot in the Europa League knock-out phase after losing their first two group matches.
Following a disturbing 3-0 home defeat to Sheriff on day one, Neil Lennon’s men conceded on either side of half-time in a 2-1 loss at Sociedad last time out.
On course to replicating the bottom-placed finish they managed in their inaugural Europa League group stage appearance in 2020/21, the Cypriot outfit have very little to hope for here.
Desperate to turn their European fortunes around following a dismal Group E start, Omonia will take the field on the back of consecutive league matches, a feat they’ve achieved for the first time this season.
But playing outside domestic competitions has often been an unpleasant experience for the Queen, considering they’ve won just one of their last 26 European outings, excluding qualifiers (D6, L19).
Another lacklustre evening in continental action is well on the cards, with Omonia losing all four previous European clashes against Premier League clubs by an aggregate score of 10-3.
Humiliation at the hands of Man City emphasised the importance of the Europa League for Man Utd’s season as the potential success here offers an alternative route into next season’s Champions League.
The Red Devils will touch down in Cyprus for the first time, albeit eager to assert their authority and maintain an inspiring six-game Europa League form on foreign soil (W5, L1).
Ronaldo, who spent the Manchester derby on the bench, is ready to return to ten Hag’s starting line-up after finding his only goal of the season against Sheriff in this competition.
Omonia Nicosia vs Manchester United Potential Line-ups
Omonia Nicosia (3-5-2): Fabiano; Nemanja Miletic, Hector Yuste, Panagiotou; Adam Matthews, Fotis Papoulis, Charalambos Charalampous, Mix Dikserud, Jan Lecjaks; Karim Ansarifard, Bruno.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Martin Dubravka; Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Anthony Elanga, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial; Cristiano Ronaldo.
How to Watch?
Omonia vs Man Utd, alongside all other Red Devils’ competitive fixtures this season, is available to watch online via Manchester United live streams.
Omonia Nicosia vs Manchester United Prediction
We expect Man Utd to pick up all three points without conceding and set themselves up nicely for their upcoming Premier League clash against Everton.
Omonia Nicosia 0-2 Manchester United
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