Charlie Nicholas: Why this player will score for Man United v Anderlecht

Charlie Nicholas is backing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to fire Manchester United to victory over Anderlecht on Thursday night

zlatan ibrahimovic
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic Photo: Adidas

Charlie Nicholas is backing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to help fire Manchester United to victory against Anderlecht in the Europa League on Thursday night.

The Red Devils head into the game looking to take one step towards reaching the semi-finals of Europe’s second tier club competition.

Manchester United were 3-0 winners over Sunderland in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon and Ibrahimovic scored his 28th goal of the season to help Jose Mourinho’s men to victory.

However, Mourinho’s side are still outside the top four in the Premier League, meaning that winning the Europa League this season could represent their best hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

And former Arsenal star Nicholas is backing the Red Devils to claim victory in the first leg of their Europa League clash on Thursday night.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “I don’t think this is as easy as everybody is expecting. When do United commit and go all in for the Europa? They’re still in the top-four picture so it’s not like they’ve had the chance to rest players and focus on this tie.

“With the players Anderlecht have this isn’t a gimme and you could even see against Sunderland that there’s still vulnerable aspects to Jose Mourinho’s side.

“Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring on Sunday will have given them a boost but I have a feeling that United will get an early goal and then fail to see it out.”

A footnote added: “Charlie predicts, 2-1 and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score first.”

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Ibrahimovic has been a regular fixture in the Manchester United side since his transfer on a free from Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

The 35-year-old has scored 28 goals and made eight assists in all competitions.

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