MAN UNITED would prefer to be dining with the big boys in the Champions League but instead Jose Mourinho finds himself languishing in no man’s land.
It’s where no Man United fans wants to be except possibly young Marcus Rashford.
The England Under-21 star could be given his chance to shine with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney saved for bigger days.
United start with a tricky tie away to Dutch leaders Feyenoord who have started with five straight wins and 15 goals.
Mourinho would prefer not to involved in the tournament but says he’ll treat the ties seriously for the sake of fans but backing United to win at a shade of odds on isn’t an easy decision to make without seeing the starting XI.
With Feyenoord on form goals could be the way to go – as it usually is in the Europa League.
He hit a hat-trick for England Under-21s on his debut side and bagged a last-minute winner against Hull as well as having one disallowed in the derby.
Former Liverpool veteran Dirk Kuyt once hit a treble against United and although he’s now 36 he’s still banging them in with three goals in five games. To net at any time the Dutchman is 7-2 at Coral.
Southampton are no bigger than 5-8 to beat Sparta Prague at home and again I’d want to see line-ups before backing them.
There are some big names involved – the likes of Inter, Fiorentina, Ajax and Anderlecht … and Dundalk.
Stephen Kenny’s side are only the second Irish team to reach the group stage and have a difficult opener away to AZ.
The Dutch are no bigger than 2-7 with William Hill with Dundalk 12-1 at McBookie who make the draw 5-1. AZ should win this by at least two but the Irish put up a good fight against Legia Warsaw before losing their Champions League play-off.
I’ve seen people tipping Mario Balotelli to score for Nice at home to Schalke after his debut double against Marseille at the weekend. However, his manager has said the Italian won’t play 90 minutes – I don’t know if that means he’ll start and come off or whether he’s introduced in the second half.
Rashford to score
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