Saint-Etienne v Manchester United preview: Ander Herrera suspended for visitors
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 22/02/17 5:01pm
Ander Herrera will miss Man Utd's Europa League last-32 second-leg tie with St Etienne on Wednesday due to suspension.
Jose Mourinho's side travel to France for the 5pm kick-off with a 3-0 aggregate lead from their first-leg victory at Old Trafford last Thursday.
Herrera earned his third Europa League booking of the season against the Ligue 1 side, with Michael Carrick or Bastian Schweinsteiger set to fill in for the Spaniard.
Mourinho is likely to have one eye on United's EFL Cup final against Southampton on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, and could rest some of his first-team regulars against Saint-Etienne.
The French club suffered their third defeat in four games in all competitions on Sunday, losing 2-1 at Montpellier.
Man Utd's fixture problem
Manchester United face Premier League, EFL Cup, FA Cup and Europa League fixture congestion
Wayne Rooney, Phil Jones and Herrera are unavailable for United.
Rooney (hamstring) and Jones (foot) miss the second leg through injury, while midfielder Herrera serves his suspension.
Matteo Darmian was not included in the 20-man squad that headed to St Etienne and left-back Luke Shaw was overlooked by Mourinho.
Saint-Etienne have lost five of their last six games against English sides in European competition (D1), conceding three or more goals in each of the last three matches.
United have progressed from 18 of their last 19 European knockout ties in which they've won the first leg, the exception being the 2006/07 Champions League semi-final versus AC Milan (includes qualifiers).
By contrast, Saint-Etienne last overturned a three-goal first-leg deficit in a European tie in 1974/75 (v Hajduk Split in the European Cup second round). They went onto the semi-finals that year, before losing to eventual winners Bayern Munich.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored more goals against Saint-Etienne than he has against any other side in his career (17).
In the first leg, the Swede scored his first United hat-trick. He has 24 goals in all competitions, which is the joint-most by any United player since the start of last season (Martial also on 24).
This is United's biggest first leg advantage in a knockout stage tie in Europe since beating FC Porto 4-0 in the Champions League quarter-finals in 1996/97 (excluding qualifiers). The second leg ended 0-0.
United have won only one of their last seven away games in France in European competition, though five of these have been draws (L1).
The Red Devils are looking to keep four successive clean sheets in European competition for the first time since December 2013.
Just one of Saint-Etienne's last 10 Europa League goals have been scored in the first half, with none coming earlier than the 45th minute.
The job is done with a 3-0 win at Old Trafford, even though they didn't play well that well in the first leg.
I've been to St Etienne a few times as a fan and while they don't get huge numbers it's quite a hostile stadium to go into.
With the cup final coming up at the weekend, Paul Pogba and Ibrahimovic will be rested. I think Mourinho will still go with a strong backline, though, to ensure they've got a solid base.
They are favourites to win the second-leg at 23/20 while St Etienne can be backed at 5/2. The draw is 9/4.
Pogba has had more shots than any other United player in the competition this season (24) and he's popular at 15/2 to score the opening goal.
Follow St Etienne v Manchester United with our live blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports apps.