Manchester United’s Europa League hopes have been handed a major boost as Real Betis’ star man Nabil Fekir has been ruled out through injury.
The Frenchman went down with an injury during a 3-2 win over Elche and, while he completed the full 90 minutes, Betis later confirmed that their star man had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Fekir will undergo surgery and is likely to miss the rest of the season.
It is not the first time the Betis star has endured cruciate ligament problems, having been forced to sit out seven months with an injury sustained at Lyon.
He returned triumphant, scoring 14 goals in all competitions the following season, and earning his move to Spain.
As far as United are concerned, the news bodes well for their Europa League ambitions as they prepare for the visit of Real Betis next Thursday.
Despite beating Barcelona in the last round, the Red Devils have a somewhat patchy record against Spanish opposition.
That is a worry that is compounded by the Betis coach, Manuel Pelligrini, who has masterminded shutouts in all four European matches he has taken charge of against Man United.
With United having lifted the Carabao Cup at the weekend, they now have their sights set on further successes.
Beating Xavi’s Barcelona will be doubt have inspired a belief that Erik ten Hag’s men can go all the way in this competition.
Despite a brutal schedule, the team have managed to keep churning out wins and that only bodes well as they continue to fight on multiple fronts.
Nabil Fekir’s absence in the Europa League tie might make the fight just that little bit easier.