Man United v Rostov | Russians seek history at Old Trafford
Europa League By: Olakunle Brown | 16/03/2017
Rostov is setting the bar quite high for themselves as they look to make the quarter-final of the Europa League for the very first time against Manchester United later today at Old Trafford.The first leg of the round of 16 encounter ended 1-1 at the much-maligned pitch at the Olimp-2 stadium where Aleksandr Bukharov’s second half effort cancelled out Henrikh Mkhitaryan opener.Read Also | Ivorian star extends deal with German sideIvan Daniliants' men are having a good run of form at the moment as they are currently unbeaten in their last five matches since returning from a three-month winter break and in 14 games they've only lost just one.Last season's Russia league runner-up have already caused some major upsets in Europe this season as they've held PSV Eindhoven to successive draws and defeated Bayern Munich in this season's Champions League, while also convincingly seeing off Ajax in the preliminary round, but most of their success came on home soil.Team NewsManchester United will be without Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial for this encounter but Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns after missing the FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Chelsea.Ivorian international, Eric Bailley is also available after missing the first leg due to suspension. For Rostov, they will be without the services of Aleksandr Gatskan and Timofei Kalachev due to suspension while Vladimir Granat is also out after breaking his collarbone during the first leg.
First-choice goalkeeper Soslan Dzhanayev is expected to return between the sticks after overcoming injury.Head-to-HeadManchester United and Rostov have only met once in European competition and that was in the 1-1 draw played out at the Olimp-2 stadium last week.Managers Quote Jose Mourinho, Manchester United"It's a very important competition for us," added Mourinho. "We always talk about that from the beginning - that's why, in every match since day one, we play with good teams, with strong teams, trying to progress in the competition - which we did in the group phase, which we did in the last 32 and we're going to try tomorrow."I think the fans will give us this little bit of extra energy so we believe that, we can cope with the situation and we can fight to be in the quarter-final."Ivan Daniliants, Rostov"Both clubs have their own history, but we are here to make history," Daniliants told a pre-match news conference."We want to unite and to show a decent performance. We trust in our team. We believe in every single player and I am sure that if we do our best the outcome will be positive.""I think every single player of both teams will benefit from using a pitch of the higher quality."This is why I would not like to comment specifically on our style of play when we're using this high quality pitch, just to say everyone will enjoy it."Manchester United probable XI:De Gea; Valencia, Rojo, Bailly, Blind; Herrera, Pogba; Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford; IbrahimovicRostov probable XI:Dzhanayev; Mevlja, Navas, Kudryashov; Terentjev, Erokhin, Prepelita, Noboa, Bayramyan; Bukharov, PolozPrediction: Manchester United 4-0 Rostov