Paul Pogba is set to return from a brief absence as Manchester United looks to topple Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.

By 90Min
February 20, 2018

Manchester United return to the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in four seasons, when they travel to the Estadio Ramón Sanchéz Pizjuán on Wednesday evening to face Sevilla.

United come into the game in jubilant spirits, having comfortably dispatched Huddersfield 2-0 on Saturday afternoon to book their place in the quarterfinal of the FA Cup.

Meanwhile, hosts Sevilla recorded a 2-1 victory away at struggling Las Palmas to move up to fifth in La Liga.

Sevilla have already been pitted against English opposition in this season's European campaign, as they played out two entertaining draws with Liverpool during the group stages prior to Christmas.

Team News

Sevilla have received a double injury boost as playmaker and former United transfer target Ever Banega returned to training from a hamstring injury this week, while winger Joaquin Correa faces a late fitness test.

Former Manchester City wide man Nolito has also returned to training following a long-term injury layoff, and could play a part on Wednesday night.

United duo Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera have been forced to sit out their side's last two outings due to injury, but are expected to return for this clash. Paul Pogba should also be available after recovering from illness which sidelined him for Saturday's FA Cup clash.

Meanwhile, United boss José Mourinho has confirmed the injury absences of both Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo.

The good news for United fans comes in the form of Alexis Sanchez, who is eligible to make his European debut for the Red Devils due to Arsenal's lack of involvement in this season's Champions League.

Key Battle

Steven N'Zonzi vs Paul Pogba

With United likely to sit back and look for opportunities on the counterattack, subduing the creative spark of Paul Pogba could be crucial in denying the Red Devils a vital away goal. 

This job will largely be the responsibility of fellow Frenchman - and former Stoke City midfield anchor - Steven N'Zonzi. N'Zonzi will know Pogba's game well having spent time with the French national team, and will look to this knowledge to halt Pogba's surging forward runs.


Sevilla's clashes with Liverpool produced 10 goals during the group stage, however Mourinho's approach to this tie will differ to that of Jurgen Klopp's.

United's managerial maestro is a master of the two-legged tie, and will be far more content to soak up Sevilla pressure before looking to strike on the counter-attack. Sevilla, meanwhile, will be desperate to take a positive result to Old Trafford if they're to give themselves a chance of progressing.

The Spaniards will likely take the game to United and their performances in the group stage prove their nous in front of goal - having scored 12 - however such expansive tactics could potentially leave themselves vulnerable to the pace of Sanchez, Martial or Rashford on the break.

Prediction: Sevilla 1-1 Manchester United 

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