Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Celta Vigo v Man United

Charlie Nicholas looks ahead to Manchester United's trip to Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday night

juan mata
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata Photo: BT Sport

Charlie Nicholas is tipping Manchester United to be beaten 2-1 in their Europa League semi-final first leg clash with Celta Vigo in Spain on Thursday night.

The Red Devils head into the game looking to return to winning ways after the frustration of their 1-1 draw with Swansea City in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford.

That result left Jose Mourinho’s men outside of the top four and knowing that winning the Europa League this season may now represent their best chance of Champions League qualification.

Manchester United will be hoping to take a positive result back to Old Trafford for the return leg of the semi-final clash in England next week.

However, although Arsenal legend Nicholas is expecting to see Manchester United reach the final in Stockholm, he is tipping the Red Devils to lose 2-1 on Thursday night.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “People are suggesting United will just go on and win this competition but they have got so much work to do now with the fixtures they’ve got left.

“The betting obviously suggests United should come through but Celta are a decent side, with former Liverpool boy Iago Aspas a real threat.

“They’re a team who score a lot of goals and they don’t seem to mind getting physical. They’ll be patient on the ball and wait for their opportunities.

“The overriding issue for United is the injuries. With the amount of games they have to play, Mourinho will set his side up to keep the first leg tight.

“Jose doesn’t rotate too much and that takes its toll on players.

“I’m going to suggest the tie is going to be left wide open. I would still expect United to qualify but this is by no means a gimme.”

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Manchester United are currently in fifth place in the Premier League table and the Red Devils travel to Arsenal on Sunday.

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