With two matches left to play, Man Utd need just one point to secure passage to the knockout stages of the Europa League and they will be looking to get over the line on Thursday night. In fact, they don’t even need a point against Sheriff – Man Utd will qualify for the knockout stages as long as they don’t lose to Sheriff by more than one goal. That’s thanks to Man Utd’s 2-0 win over Sheriff in the reverse fixture and the Europa League using head-to-head as the primary tiebreaker.
Man Utd’s 2-0 win over Sheriff came after the Red Devils opened their Europa League campaign in defeat, falling 1-0 to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford, showing Erik ten Hag that he had to take the competition seriously if he wanted to get through. The Red Devils then followed up the win over Sheriff with back-to-back victories against Omonia though again they were much harder than expected, only winning by one goal in each match.
Sheriff were a breath of fresh air in the Champions League last season, shocking Real Madrid and sealing a third-placed finish behind Inter Milan and Los Blancos in their group. But their European campaign hasn’t been good this season, and they are up against it if they wish to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League. As previously mentioned, Sheriff have to beat Man Utd by at least two goals to still have a chance of overtaking the Red Devils.
The Moldovan side opened their Europa League campaign with a 3-0 win over Omonia and topped the group after one match, but they have followed that up with three straight defeats. After losing to Man Utd, Sheriff suffered back-to-back defeats against Real Sociedad, conceding five goals across the two matches.
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Man Utd vs Sheriff match stats
There won’t be many recognisable names on the Sheriff team sheet but one man to keep an eye out for is Iyayi Atiemwen. The Nigerian is Sheriff’s striker and will be looking to threaten the Man Utd goal but he may be more of a problem for the defenders’ legs. Atiemwen has been booked in all three of his Europa League games so far and missed the last match against Real Sociedad through suspension.
Antony has been a brilliant signing for Man Utd and will only get better as he builds understanding and partnership with his teammates. Boosted by his previous work with Ten Hag, Antony has had a shot on target in nine of the 10 games he has played for Man Utd this season and will look to test the Sheriff defence, cutting in from the right onto his left foot.