The Red Devils beat AC Milan 1-0 courtesy of a second-half goal from Paul Pogba in the San Siro last night. Tottenham were eliminated from the competition after suffering a humiliating 3-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb, leaving Man Utd as the outright favourites for glory.
First they must get past Granada. Diego Martinez’s men were only promoted to La Liga Primera last season, but they defied expectations by finishing seventh and qualifying for the Europa League. They are currently eighth in the standings, and they scraped past Molde in the last round of the Europa League.
Goals from veteran strikers Jorge Molina and Roberto Soldado handed Granada a 2-0 win in the first leg. They lost 2-1 to the Norwegian champions last night, but progressed on aggregate. Granada have now drifted out to 30/1 (31.00) with Unibet to win the competition after landing a difficult draw against Man Utd.
If the Red Devils make it past Granada, they will face either Ajax or Roma in the semi-finals.
Ajax should be full of confidence after thumping Swiss side Young Boys 5-0 on aggregate in the last round. They may have lost exciting youngsters like Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Donny van de Beek to wealthier clubs in recent years, but they still possess a strong mix of youth and experience, and they are comfortably top of the Eredivisie table.
Ajax are now priced at 6/1 (7.00) with various bookmakers to win the tournament, while their quarter-final opponents, Roma, are out at 9/1 (10.00) with William Hill and Unibet. Paulo Fonseca’s men beat Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 on Thursday night to wrap up a 5-1 aggregate triumph.
Real Madrid loanee Borja Mayoral scored twice in that game, and he will be crucial to their chances of success in the next round. Roma are now the last Italian team standing in European competition this season after AC Milan were eliminated from the Europa League and Juventus and Lazio were knocked out of the Champions League. They are currently sixth in Serie A, 15 points behind leaders Inter Milan, after losing 2-0 to Parma at the weekend.
Arsenal might be pleased to have landed on the opposite side of the draw to Man Utd, Ajax, Roma and Granada. They edged past Olympiakos on aggregate, despite losing 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium last night, and their reward is a clash with Slavia Prague.
The Czech league leaders are not to be taken lightly. They dumped Leicester out of the competition in the Round of 32, and then beat Scottish champions Rangers last night with another composed performance.
However, Arsenal are the clear favourites to win that tie, and they are now second favourites to win the Europa League. Paddy Power and Betfair are offering 3/1 (4.00) on them lifting the trophy, and you can get a third of the odds on a runner-up finish if you go each-way.
If Arsenal manage to get the better of Slavia Prague, they could be reunited with former manager Unai Emery in the semi-finals. The Spaniard led them to the final in 2019. He is now at Villarreal, and his team beat Dynamo Kiev 4-0 on aggregate in the last 16.
Villarreal will face Dinamo Zagreb in the quarters. The Croatian champions lost 2-0 to Tottenham a week ago, and then their manager resigned after being sentenced to four and a half years in prison for fraud, but they ended up beating Spurs 3-0 after extra-time last night to reach the last eight.
Villarreal are now 6/1 (7.00) to win the Europa League, Granada are 33/1 (34.00), Slavia Prague are 40/1 (41.00) and Dinamo Zagreb are 66/1 (67.00). A lot of the early money has gone on Arsenal after they avoided several big clubs in the draw.