It may not be what they want, but it could be what they need.
José Mourinho has admitted that Manchester United are not entirely thrilled to be participating in the Europa League this season. But with the Red Devils’ current Premier League struggles, and with a place in the Champions League awarded to the winner, Europe’s secondary club competition could be creeping up the list of Mourinho’s priorities.
Two weeks ago, United followed up a 0-0 draw at Anfield by smashing Fenerbahçe 4-1, with record signing Paul Pogba bagging himself a brace.
But Mourinho’s men have since lost 4-0 to Chelsea and drawn 0-0 with Burnley either side of a narrow EFL Cup win over local rivals Manchester City.
Thursday’s trip to Istanbul to take on Robin van Persie’s Fenerbahçe will present a much more arduous task than the Turkish side posed at Old Trafford. But a win would take United to nine points from a possible 12 in Group A and would all but assure them of qualification to the knockout stages.
HOW TO WATCH
When: 18:00 UK time, 14:00 Eastern, 11:00 Pacific
Where: Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey
Television: BT Sport 3, if you’re in the USA, you can catch it on Fox Sports 1 and ESPN Deportes; for the rest of the world, LiveSoccerTV has you covered
Streaming: The BT Sport app in the UK; Fox Sports Go in the USA
This will also be our Live Thread for the game, so share your thoughts as the action unfolds in the comments section.