Man Utd v Sevilla preview: Jose Mourinho plays down Champions League hopes
Last Updated: 13/03/18 8:00pm
Jose Mourinho talked down Manchester United's chances of winning the Champions League ahead of Tuesday night's second leg of their last-16 tie with Sevilla.
The fixture is finely balanced at 0-0 following a defensive shut-out by Mourinho's side in Spain, and the manager was coy about his chances of winning the trophy for a third time.
Asked if he feels he has the conditions to bring a fourth European Cup to Old Trafford, Mourinho said: "Not yet, but when a team reaches the last eight anything is possible.
"Now I have only one name in my mind: it is Sevilla. I know that it is very difficult to go through. If we go through to the quarter-final draw, it doesn't matter the opponent - for us or for Sevilla - will always be one of the big names in European football, but we will try."
Sevilla were beaten 2-0 by Valencia on Saturday and are 11 points adrift from the top four in La Liga.
The Spanish side have won four of their last six away games, but previously lost five of their previous nine away from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
"It's a special match because we can reach the quarter-finals," said head coach Vincenzo Montella. "It's special for me and for the club because we have not played in the last eight for 60 years."
Paul Pogba is a doubt for Manchester United's Champions League last-16 second leg against Sevilla.
The 24-year-old missed Saturday's Premier League win against Liverpool through injury and Mourinho is unsure whether the midfielder will be available on Tuesday.
Anthony Martial is back and Zlatan Ibrahimovic trained with his United team-mates ahead of the match, but Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Daley Blind remain sidelined.
Sevilla are lacking options down their right-hand side, with former Manchester City winger Jesus Navas ruled out with injury.
- United have only lost one of their last nine home Champions League games against Spanish sides (W5 D3), against Real Madrid at this stage in 2012-13.
- 70 per cent of away sides who draw the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie 0-0 end up progressing to the next round (21/30).
- United haven't managed to score more than one goal in any of their last 15 Champions League encounters with Spanish opposition (7 goals total).
- Sevilla have never won a Champions League game in England (D1 L3), with that one draw coming at Liverpool in this season's group stages.
- Starting with the 2011 final, United have only won one of their last eight Champions League knockout games (D3 L4).
This might not be as big for the fans, but this is as big as Saturday in terms of it being huge for them to be in Champions League quarter-finals. I am expecting United to go through, mainly because this is the poorest Sevilla side in years.
Even if Paul Pogba was fit I don't think he would get in the United team, as he has suffered from the confusion that Alexis Sanchez's arrival has brought to the team.
Antony Martial has suffered as well but it is their biggest young talent, Marcus Rashford, who has suffered the most. He came in for a big game and did the business, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's back on the bench.
I'd back Rashford at Sky Bet's 14/1 for another brace but I don't know whether he's going to play. I don't know whether Sanchez deserves to be in the line-up but if he is then it certainly shouldn't be at Rashford's expense.
Charlie predicts: 2-0 and Rashford to score first (22/1 with Sky Bet)
United are just 8/15 with Sky Bet to book their place in the quarter-finals with a victory as Sevilla go up against odds of 11/2, while another draw is a 10/3 chance. With another goalless affair priced at 12/1, Mourinho's men are 25/1 to come through in extra time and 45/1 to progress via penalties. Romelu Lukaku heads the first goalscorer betting at 10/3, while Marcus Rashford is 9/2 to break the deadlock again and enhanced from 9/1 to 14/1 for another brace in Sky Bet's Price Boosts