Jose Mourinho: The team I want Man United to face in Europa League draw

Jose Mourinho says he would prefer for his Manchester United team to face Lyon in the last 16 of the Europa League

Jose Mourinho has revealed that he would prefer for his Manchester United side to face Lyon in the Europa League last 16 than another team because of the distance of travel.

The Red Devils are currently gearing up for Friday’s Europa League draw after Mourinho watched his side book their place in the next round of Europe’s second tier club competition with a 1-0 win over Saint-Etienne on Wednesday night.

Mourinho is aiming to steer Manchester United to the Europa League title this season as he looks to guide the Red Devils back into the Champions League.

With Manchester United currently sixth in the Premier League table, it remains to be seen whether the Red Devils can secure a top-four finish.

And Mourinho has admitted that he would prefer to be drawn against a team closer to England such as Lyon on Friday.

Speaking at his post-match news conference on Wednesday night, Mourinho said: “I’m used to difficult draws, sometimes I think some balls are cold and some balls are hot [when the draw is made].

“First of all, I cannot choose, second, 16 teams, strong teams, some of them coming from the Champions League.

“If I could choose I would choose not to travel a lot, because the next round we have Chelsea in between the two matches, Middlesbrough away after the second match.

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“So if you give me something like Krasnodar, or some very far destination, I would prefer Lyon – two-hour flight – I would prefer something close.”

The Europa League last 16 draw takes place on Friday 24 February 2017 at around midday UK time.

The first leg is expected to be played on Thursday 9 March and the second leg on Thursday 16 March. The team drawn out first will be at home in the first leg.

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