Manchester United and Inter Milan are sharing the lead of the market to win the 2019/20 edition of the Europa League and this Thursday, we can assess their real chances of confirming that status when they come into play against theoretically inferior opponents. On the case of Inter, everything suggests that their encounter against Getafe should even be postponed due to the Coronavirus.
Red Devils in full swing
The past couple of weeks have been highly promising for Manchester United from a future perspective, since the side led by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ensured a spot in the FA Cup’s quarterfinals, advanced onto the 8th finals of the Europa League and is consolidating their position amongst the Premier League’s top 5.
Right now, they’re already unbeaten for 10 matches, with their result of the past weekend standing out, with the team from Old Trafford winning the Manchester derby by 2-0 in convincing fashion.
Besides having limited the usually destructive attack of the Citizens to only 0.75 xG, United managed to generate good goalscoring chances that would eventually justify their victory by 2-0 with goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay.
Bruno Fernandes got another assist in that match, making a beautiful assist to the French attacker Martial for the first goal of the match and he was actually rewarded with the award of Player of the Month of February in the Premier League.
We can say that the Portuguese midfielder had an absolutely sublime start to life in England and that he really displayed his qualities.
LASK Linz is a very dangerous opponent
This Thursday, Man Utd travels to Austria to face a LASK Linz side that has been having an interesting European campaign.
For the Portuguese fans, it is easy to remember of their encounters on the group stage against Sporting where they really pushed the Lions against the ropes, despite an unlucky loss in Lisbon.
They’ve finished that group that also included Rosenborg and PSV Eindhoven in front, and they’ve eliminated an overpowering AZ Alkmaar on the 16th finals with great authority, drawing by 1-1 in the Netherlands and then winning
comfortably at home by 2-0.
The quality of the football played by this team can’t be ignored and only the low effectiveness of their attackers has been preventing them from getting even better results.
— SPORT TV (@SPORTTVPortugal) March 9, 2020
They are isolated in the lead of the Austrian league ahead of the recently dominating RB Salzburg and that’s a proof of their extraordinary moment of form.
Despite that, and the fact that they’ve won the 4 encounters at home on this edition of the Europa League, the Austrians appear as clear “underdogs” in this match where they will host one of the favourites to win the competition.
I believe that the “Both teams to score” market with odds of 1.88 on Bet365 can be the most tempting selection for this duel.
Inter need to focus on the Europa League
If the other favourites Man Utd (priced at 4.50 to win the competition) are in a great moment of form, the same can’t be said about Inter Milan that were recently defeated by Juventus on a match of the Italian Serie A, which now leaves
them very far from the fight for the “Scudetto”.
With 9 less points than Juventus and 1 match still to be played, Inter might, on the best-case scenario stay 6 points away from the top of the standings.
For that reason, the Europa League might be an excellent alternative for them to fight for a trophy this season, because Antonio Conte’s side seems to have enough quality to win it.
#UEL round of 16 is set ✅
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) February 28, 2020
Still, the limitations with the Coronavirus have been hurting the normal development of the season in Italy and now their Europa League campaign will also be affected by it.
With the propagation of the outbreak being particularly serious in Italy, Getafe already announced they won’t be making the trip to Milan where all sporting activities are suspended.
UEFA should understand this decision and announce an alternative date within the next couple of things, with Inter having another competitive break that certainly can’t be considered beneficial at such an important stage of the season.