English Premier League side Manchester United will be hosting French Ligue 1 St. Etienne (ASSE) at Old Trafford this Thursday, February 16th in a round-of-32 Europa League clash. This is the first match of a two-legged tie with the return game taking place in France on Wednesday, February 22nd. Man United enters the contest after a 2-0 home win over Watford in the Premier League last weekend while St. Etienne were 4-0 winners at home over last-place Lorient in French league action.
Manchester United vs St. Etienne – bet365 Soccer Betting Line:
- bet365 currently lists Man United as the favorites to win the game at 3/10 with St. Etienne 9/1 and a draw at 4/1
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Manchester United vs St. Etienne – Head to Head:
The two clubs have met just twice before in competitive matches with Man United winning and drawing one. The teams faced off in the first round of the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1977/78 and played to a 1-1 draw France. United then won the second leg 2-1 in Plymouth as the match was moved from Old Trafford due to potential crowd trouble.
Manchester United – A Closer Look:
Man United is on a 16-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League, but they’ve won just nine of those contests and drawn the other seven. They still sit in sixth place in the Premier League after 25 outings with 48 points from 13 wins, nine draws and three defeats. They’ve scored 38 goals and allowed 21 against. United has just one defeat in their past 21 games in all competitions with 18 victories in their past 31. United has six wins, six draws and one loss at home in league action this season with 19 goals for and nine against.
They now sit 12 points behind league-leading and are just four behind second-place Manchester City. United has never been beaten at home by a French club as they have nine wins and three draws. Overall, they have 12 wins, 10 draws and a pair of losses against French sides in 24 outings. United has won all three home European games this campaign and is unbeaten in their past 12 European outings at Old Trafford with 11 wins and three draws since March of 2013.
Man United reached the final 16 of the Europa League in 2015/16, but have never won the UEFA Cup/Europa League. It’s the only major European trophy they haven’t won. They finished second in their group stage of this year’s Europa League with four wins and two losses and were runners up to Fenerbahce. They were eliminated by Liverpool 3-1 on aggregate in the round of 16 last season.
St. Etienne – A Closer Look:
St. Etienne sits in fifth place in the team French Ligue 1 with 39 points out of a possible 75 after 25 contests. They have 10 wins, nine draws and six losses with 30 goals for and 19 against. They’re 19 points behind league-leading Monaco. St. Etienne has three wins and two losses in their past five outings. They’ve played six matches against English clubs with just one win along with a draw and four losses. This includes three defeats on English soil.
However, St. Etienne is hot in Europe this season with five wins and five draws to remain undefeated after 10 outings. The club made it to the European Cup Final in 1975/76, but was beaten. They were knocked out of the Europa League by Basel of Switzerland at the group-of-32 stage in last year’s Europa League. Their best showing in the Europa League was the final four in both the 1979/80 and 1980/81 campaigns.
St. Etienne won their Europa Group stage this season with three wins and three draws with two victories and a draw in their three away matches. St. Etienne defender Florentin Pogba will be playing his younger brother Paul Pogba of United for the first time in a competitive club match. The French club needs to watch United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic closely since the Swedish international has 14 goals in 13 games against them.
Manchester United vs St. Etienne – Takeaway:
United needs to get off to a good start here if they hope to lift this trophy for the first time in club history.
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