2 positives and 1 negative from Manchester United drawing Milan

Manchester United’s reward for Real Sociedad is a Europa League last 16 clash against Milan.

Our initial reaction is ‘bring it on’, and United are one of the favourites to lift the trophy for a reason.

Of course there there are positive and negative elements to the draw.

United have avoided any of the British teams remaining in the competition, but face some familiar faces.

OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Positives

Good time to play them

Milan have had a strong season and sit second in Serie A, behind local rivals Inter.

But they’ve suffered two straight defeats, including a loss to their bitter foes last weekend.

Perhaps there are signs there that Milan are starting to slow down and it could be a good time to play them.

United will need to do a professional job, but their opponents are not having their best moment of the season.

Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images

Proper European night

This game feels like it should be a Champions League clash.

United and Milan have enjoyed some fine battles on Europe’s biggest stage during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign.

There were plenty of tricky available opponents but none which carry the prestige of Milan.

It’s a shame fans won’t be there to see it, but this will be a proper European clash.

Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images

Negatives

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

There weren’t many tougher tests available in the draw than a battle with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

United’s central defenders have been under the microscope in recent weeks and the former Old Trafford forward will give them a stern test.

He will want to show United what they’re missing, and inspire Milan to victory.

That said, it will also be good to see him back at Old Trafford, given the impact he made in his time with the club.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.