Sunday, November 19, 2017

Scholes: Only Lyon can stop United winning Europa League

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 29 Mar 2017

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Paul Scholes does not think Manchester United have a difficult task to win this season’s Europa League.

United face Anderlecht in the quarter-finals this month and Scholes thinks that of the teams left it is only Ligue 1 side Lyon who can prevent his old club from winning the tournament for the first time.

Jose Mourinho’s side have already beaten Saint-Etienne and Rostov in the knockout stages, with their former midfielder optimistic over the chances of them lifting the trophy in Stockholm in May.

“It is a great chance for them,” Old Trafford legend Scholes told Omnisport. 

“They are obviously the biggest club left in the competition. They are favourites and rightly so. 

“If they perform anything like [they can] they have got a great chance of winning. I think Lyon are maybe the obvious contenders to United. But, apart from that, I don’t see too many problems for them in that competition.”

Although Europa League glory would guarantee United a Champions League spot for next season, Scholes is confident Mourinho’s men will do enough to secure their path in the Premier League by finishing in the top four.

“The chances are good and I expect them to finish fourth,” said Scholes, who won 11 Premier League titles with United. “They have been on a fantastic run, without making much progress in the league. 

“You have to say, the quality in the Premier League is back to where it should be. There are probably five teams fighting for that top four.

“I think [United’s season] has been alright. There is a big period now, this will define how good the season has been.”

Scholes pinpointed away games against Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham as pivotal. 

“They have got three tough away games,” he said. “If they can get through that with five or six points, they have got a great chance of finishing in the top four.”

United, who are four points behind fourth-placed Liverpool with two games in hand, are back in league action at home to West Brom on Saturday.

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