Manchester United’s reward for beating Milan last night is a Europa League quarter-final clash against Granada.
Our initial reaction is that it could have been a lot harder. United played very well last night and are among the favourites to lift the trophy for a reason.
That said, of course there are positive and negative aspects to the draw and no team can be taken lightly.
Lack of European experience
In terms of European pedigree, United and Granada are worlds apart.
If the previous round against Milan was a glamour tie, this one is more low-key for United.
United have experience of going deep into European competitions that their last eight opponents simply don’t have.
That should help United hold their nerve against a side who haven’t been here too many times before.
Confidence from Sociedad win
United have already seen off Spanish opponents in the knockout rounds this season.
Real Sociedad are three places and nine points ahead of Granada in La Liga right now – and United beat them 4-0 on aggregate last month.
Of course, Granada can’t be taken lightly but United should use the Sociedad result to show there’s nothing to fear either.
It’s a tie United really should be winning over two legs.
United need to break down an underdog
We all know United are generally at their best when playing on the counter.
There have been struggles against sides who sit back when they’re the underdogs against United.
Your writer can’t claim to be an expert on Spanish football but it would be a surprise if Granada took the game to United, going toe to toe.
It could be a tight, cagey tie against a side who have been drawn a huge opponent against whom they’ve got nothing to lose.
United have struggled to beat West Brom and Sheffield United in the not too distant past and Granada are sure to be a lot, lot better than those clubs.
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