Michael Owen: Manchester United can claim Europa League glory

by Tanveer Arayan

Former Manchester United and Liverpool striker Michael Owen believes Jose Mourinho‘s side have what it takes to win the Europa League this season.

Man United guaranteed their place in the next round of the Europa League with a comfortable 2-0 win over Zorya Luhansk in Odessa last week.

Mourinho’s men will host Saint-Ettiene in the Last 32 for the first leg on February 16 before travelling to France for the return leg on the 22nd.

Owen, speaking on BT Sport, claimed that United could go all the way in Europe this year.

“It’s a good tie, I think, for Manchester United. It’s not far too travel,” he said.

“I’ll be interested in going back [to Saint-Ettiene] — because I haven’t been back since [his wonder-goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup]. I’ll try.

“This is a hard competition to win, there are so many teams and it’s a real grind, but I think — with Manchester United’s squad — they’re perfectly equipped to win it. It’s a brilliant draw. Obviously, with the squad they have, they are always favourites.

“The depth they have means they can virtually use any of these players and win this tie comfortably.”

Looking at the teams left in this competition, one thing is abundantly clear: United have the best squad out of the remaining 32. This side, on paper, could comfortably stroll to the final, starting with a convincing win over the eighth-placed French side.

Then again, this competition resembles something of an unknown prodigy for Mourinho’s men. Most players in this United squad have never played in this competition, and their recent record away from home in Europe – alongside the last two adventures in the Europa League – don’t necessarily act as reasons to be optimistic.

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