English Premier League side Manchester United visits France this Wednesday when they take on Ligue 1 side St. Etienne (ASSE) in the second leg of their round-of-32 Europa League clash. Man United won their home leg 3-0 at Old Trafford last Thursday courtesy of a hat trick by Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Man United enters the contest after a 2-1 away win over Blackburn Rovers in the fifth round of the English FA Cup on Sunday, while St. Etienne lost 2-1 away to Montpellier over the weekend.
St. Etienne vs Manchester – bet365 Soccer Betting Line:
- bet365 currently lists Man United as the favorites to win the game at 11/10 with St. Etienne 12/5 and a draw at also at 12/5
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St. Etienne vs Manchester – Head to Head:
- The two clubs have met just three times now in competitive matches with Man United winning two and drawing one. This includes their 3-0 home victory last week in the first leg of this tie. 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.
St. Etienne – A Closer Look:
St. Etienne currently sits in fifth place in the French Ligue 1 with 39 points out of a possible 78 after 26 matches. They have 10 victories, nine draws and six defeats with 31 goals for and 21 against. They’re 20 points behind league-leading Monaco. St. Etienne has three wins and three losses in their past five league outings. They’ve now played seven games against English clubs with a lone victory along with a draw and five defeats. Their one win came at home.
St. Etienne has been beaten just once in Europe this season and that came last week to Man United. Their other 10 European matches have resulted in five victories and five draws. The team reached the European Cup Final in 1975/76, but was beaten and was eliminated from the Europa League last season by Basel of Switzerland at the group-of-32 stage. St. Etienne’s best showing in the Europa League came in the way of final four appearances in both the 1979/80 and 1980/81 seasons.
St. Etienne topped their Europa Group stage this campaign with three wins and three draws. They had one win and a pair of draws at home. St. Etienne defender Florentin Pogba will once again be facing his younger brother Paul Pogba of United. They met for the first time in a competitive club game last week. The French side obviously needs to keep close tabs on Ibrahimovic as he’s now scored 17 goals in 14 contests against them.
Manchester United – A Closer Look:
Man United is currently riding a 16-game undefeated string in the Premier League with nine victories and seven draws. They remain in sixth place in the standings though after 25 contests with 48 points from 13 victories, nine draws and three losses. They’ve scored 38 times and allowed 21 goals against. United has been beaten just once in their past 23 encounters in all competitions with 20 wins in their past 33.
United has seven wins, three draws and two losses away from home in league action this season with 19 goals for and 12 against. United is a dozen points behind first-place Chelsea and just four back of second-place Manchester City. Overall, they have 13 wins, 10 draws and a two defeats against French teams in 25 games. They have four wins, seven draws and two losses in France. Man United reached the final 16 of the Europa League in 2015/16, but have never won the UEFA Cup/Europa League.
This competition remains as the only major European trophy that United hasn’t won. They finished as runners up to Fenerbahce of Turkey in their group stage of this year’s Europa League with four victories and a pair of defeats. They made it to the round of 16 last season, but were eliminated 3-1 on aggregate by their arch rivals and fellow Premier League team Liverpool.
St. Etienne vs Manchester United – Takeaway:
St. Etienne is in trouble here. They’ll be eliminated with a loss or a draw and need to win 3-0 just to send the series into extra time. They will go through with a win by four goals or more though, and that isn’t likely to happen.