It is fair to say that Manchester United are one of the favorites for this year’s Europa League trophy. Accepted, it is not the competition The Red Devils would have preferred playing compared to the champions League, but there is an added incentive.
The winners of the Europa League gain automatic entry into the next season’s Champions League group stages. Jose Mourinho leads his team against St. Etienne in the Round of 32 fixture first leg at Old Trafford on Thursday, knowing that a convincing win will do well for their prospects as they aim to win all the cup competitions available to them.
The 20-time English champions are in the Capital One Cup final, and are also in the FA Cup fifth round, where they square up against Blackburn.
Jose Mourinho has experience winning this competition, having won it while at Porto in 2003 while Manchester United, for all their illustrious history have never lifted the competition. The games from now till the end of the season will come thick and fast, but The Red Devils have the squad that can compete on all fronts.
The Europa league has been derided by a host of top European clubs, likewise Manchester United but Mourinho is a lover of trophies, and just any trophy matters to him, no matter the name. It would be a worthy achievement to have the Europa League in the club’s trophy room bursting with other trophies won.