Joe Cole rates Man United and Arsenal’s Europa League chances

Joe Cole says that Man United and Arsenal are two clear favourites to win the Europa League this season

BT Sport pundit Joe Cole (Photo: BT Sport)
BT Sport pundit Joe Cole (Photo: BT Sport)

Joe Cole believes that Manchester United and Arsenal are two of the clear favourites to win the Europa League this season.

Manchester United secured their spot in the quarter-finals of Europe’s second tier club competition last week thanks to an aggregate win over AC Milan.

Arsenal, meanwhile, booked their place in the last eight with victory over Olympiakos in the last 16.

Manchester United have been drawn against Granada in the quarter-finals and they will play either Ajax or Roma if they make it through to the semi-finals.

Arsenal have been pitted against Slavia Prague in the last eight and will face either Dinamo Zagreb or Villarreal in the last four if they progress.

Cole believes that the stage is set for an all-English final between Manchester United and Arsenal at the end of the season.

Speaking to BT Sport after the draw, Cole said: “Manchester United will be delighted with that [draw].

“Arsenal, we’ve seen Slavia Prague, that’s trickier than what it looks. I watched the highlights of both games against Leicester, they’ve got a very good, well-oiled machine.

“This [Arsenal] team knows what it takes to win a competition, they won the FA Cup last year, probably against the odds, in Arteta’s first year and again you’ve seen improvements.

“He [Mikel Arteta] makes big decisions, he left [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang out of the north London derby because he turned up late. That shows good strength of character. I think he’s learning on the job, his team are improving.

“Our two boys, Arsenal and Manchester United, you can’t look past them two. I feel that’s where the winner will come from so it’s exciting times for English football.”

Pressed on who would win a potential all-English final between Arsenal and Manchester United, Cole added: “Man United for me all the way. For me, Arsenal, I love watching what Arteta’s doing there, I just think Manchester United would have the more experience.

“If it was the final and it’d be a great final, fingers crossed, toes crossed it happens, I think Manchester United would get it done.”

Arsenal will take on West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday, while Manchester United are set to travel to Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

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