We here at The Busby Babe like to separate ourselves from the pack; to provide insight and coverage that isn’t available anywhere else. So ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League Round of 16 tie, we sent our crack European correspondent to Rostov, Russia to interview a local FC Rostov ultra.
The Busby Babe: Добрый день!
Dmitri(?) [Editor’s note: We didn’t catch his name]: English is fine. How can we help you?
tBB: Oh, thank God. Our Babelfish software is shamefully out of date. How are you feeling about today?
Dmitri: Fine, thanks. We've got some friends coming over for dinner.
tBB: Right. Obviously, United are favorites to go through to the next round, but on a dodgy pitch, and with the distraction of a tough FA Cup match in a few days, there’s a good chance that your boys can pull off an upset in the first leg. How confident are you about your chances?
Dmitri: Our chances? Well ... pretty good. I'm doing a lasagna. Always goes down well.
tBB: There's been a lot of discussion about the conditions. Do you think it might act as a leveller this evening?
Dmitri: What? We'll be inside.
tBB: More generally, there's been a lot of negative coverage in the English press ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Is this a chance to demonstrate to the English-speaking world that Russia can welcome the world to her footballing doorstep?
Dmitri: There's been some kind of misunderstanding. Can we interest you in a guided tour of the Assumption Cathedral?
tBB: So what kind of formation do you expect to see from Ivan Daniliants tomorrow? 4-2-3-1? Or will he go 3 at the back again, given that United have struggled to break down teams set up that way this season?
Dmitri: Sir, I believe you may be in the wrong Rostov.
Dmitri: This is Rostov, Yaroslavl Oblast, to the north of Moscow. The football club FC Rostov play in Rostov-on-Don.
Dmitri: Which is about a 20-hour drive south, if the traffic's okay.
tBB: Any players United should be worried about, other than Dmitry Poloz?