It looks like the Europa League semi-finals will go ahead after all. Earlier in the week it seemed Manchester United could be kicked out of the competition due to the Glazers’ Super League plans.

Now at least, on the pitch, the players can start looking at the challenges ahead. After Leeds at the weekend, we are onto the Europa League semi-final first leg against Roma.

One of the most interesting aspects of this match is a reunion with Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Chris Smalling could be an option too, but he has started just one game since late January due to injury problems.

AS Roma v Ajax - UEFA Europa League
(Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Mkhitaryan poses an attacking threat, and his permanent move to Roma from Arsenal last summer saw him begin the season in style.

On January 31, Mkhitaryan scored his 11th goal of the season. He also has nine assists.

But Roma have a problem. He does not have a single goal or assist to his name since.

Form has dipped

Mkhitaryan could not keep up his impressive pace and he has now gone 12 games without a goal contribution, having managed a total of 20 up until February began.

TMW report Mkhitaryan has been dealing with a calf injury, and while he has the medical all-clear, it has not quite clicked for him on the pitch.

 

He has two more games for Roma ahead of the semi-final first leg, including the huge Serie A match against Champions League chasing Atalanta tonight.

Mkhitaryan’s Roma then face Cagliari at the weekend, before travelling to Old Trafford for the semi-final first leg on April 29.

How he performs in these two Serie A games, will determine his condition and mindset ahead of facing United.

AS Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk - UEFA Europa League Round Of 16 Leg One
(Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Will United be taking on a former player who is bereft of confidence after going 14 games without a goal or assist?

Or will Mkhitaryan get back to scoring and creating goals tonight and/or at the weekend, tuning up perfectly in time for his reunion with United?

We saw during his time at Old Trafford that he is capable of brilliance, while being wildly inconsistent. Roma are finding that out too.

He will certainly be a dangerman over the two legs, but it might be a little easier if his current slump continues.

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