Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has acknowledged our Europa League quarter-final with Granada will be ‘difficult’, despite the La Liga side being newcomers to European football.
The Andalusian outfit finished seventh in the Spanish top flight in 2019/20, qualifying for the Europa League for the first time, and they have so far beaten PSV Eindhoven, Napoli and Ole’s old club Molde, among others, to reach this stage.
That makes the Nazaríes a team to be wary of, says the Norwegian, especially as they’ve got the better of Sevilla and Real Sociedad – sides United are familiar with – in the league this season.
“Well, it’s another difficult tie of course,” Solskjaer told club media.
“They’ve done well in La Liga and we know we’re up against a team that will be technically very good and tactically very good.
“They beat Molde so they must be very good! [Smiles]
Ole’s pre-match press conferenceVideo
Granada saw off the Norwegians 3-2 on aggregate, despite losing Thursday’s tie 2-1 at the Puskas Arena in Budapest, where the game had to be played due to coronavirus restrictions in Norway.
Ole said those meetings with Molde would play a part in United’s opposition analysis on the southern Spaniards, who are currently eighth in La Liga.
“Yeah I’ll ring them and get the reports as well, but we’ll do our own homework,” added Ole.
“I know that the analysis side and the scouting side in Molde do a very thorough job as well and I’ll watch those two games back of course because I just want to see Molde play again as well!
“It’s the first time they [Granada] are in Europe and of course it’s a new experience for them and hopefully we can end it here.
“They’re a good side and we know that, as I said, technically the Spanish teams are so good and we’ve got to be so good defensively to win the ball off them.”
As with our Round-of-32 tie against Granada’s compatriots Real Sociedad, United will play the first leg away, before hosting the return at Old Trafford a week later.
While received wisdom suggests it is preferable to have the home game second, Solskjaer is more focused on the damage we could cause over in Spain on 8 April.
“Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s just important that you get goals. Away goals of course are important and we want a good starting point from the first game.”
Granada v Manchester United
Arsenal v Slavia Prague
Ajax v Roma
Dinamo Zagreb v Villarreal
Granada/Manchester United v Ajax/Roma
Dinamo Zagreb/Villarreal v Arsenal/Slavia Prague