Europa League • AC Milan-Manchester United FC: European Nights

Milan host Manchester United at the San Siro on Thursday for the second leg of our Europa League Round of 16 matchup. Milan have the precious away goal scored in the final seconds of last week's match, so come into this match with that small advantage. However, Manchester United have the advantage of having recovered more players in addition to the fact that Milan's home record this season is not great. Anything can happen in this match, and either team could go through. But for one team, it will be the last of the European nights.

Hoping Ibrahimovic will welcome his former team back the Zlatan away... with goals

Let me start by saying that both the official Manchester United site as well as players interviewed last week appropriated our Champions League trophies by saying they had "10 European cups between us." No. Milan have seven, and you only have three, you little English weasels. Amazing that the club that is probably most well known and marketed throughout the world has to try to steal our thunder.

Since our meeting last week at Old Trafford, Manchester United defeated West Ham 1-0 on Sunday. For that match, Solskjaer lined up Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; James, Fernandes, Rashford; and Greenwood. In addition to having Rashford back, Solskjaer should also have Cavani, van de Beek, Pogba, and De Gea back from injuries. Which means he will only be missing Martial, Jones and Juan Mata.

Gigio reaching for Europe

Pioli has players back as well, but they are not all certain just yet. He will have Ibrahimovic to face his old club, as well as Bennacer and Romagnoli, while it is hoped that Calabria will also be ready as of this writing. It is assumed that Kjaer will be in the squad, as his exclusion on Sunday was reportedly precautionary. But it sounds like Mandzukic, Leao, and Maldini will all still be out. Rebic earned himself a two match league suspension for insulting Pasqua's mother, but should be available for this match so long as he keeps his mouth shut.

The first leg was brilliant, Milan seemed to surprise Manchester United as well as those who haven't been watching Serie A. We had two goals called back, they missed two embarrassing sitters, and the two goals scored were split, one for each team. But the match was intense and played at a fast tempo throughout. Milan had 15 shots with five on target, While Manchester United had seven shots with only two on target. Both sides are coming back with important players recovered, so I expect this to be an even better match, if that's possible.

Proof that blondes really do have more fun

Having dropped points against Napoli on Sunday, Milan will have something to prove against Manchester United. I'm pretty sure that point is that we deserve to punish ourselves further by playing another round of the Europa League and all of the injuries and tired legs that brings. Although I don't know why we still want that. Boaz and I talked about it on the podcast this week, about how getting past Manchester United would give us a more direct route to the Champions League. But I am still not convinced.

The only thing I know is that only one team goes through after this match. Even if I have my reservations about continuing to stretch our team with injuries and exhaustion, I never want to lose. Least of all to those little English weasels. So on Thursday, I will be sure to enjoy two historic clubs facing off in one of our European nights.

This post inspired by the music of The Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen"

Europa League Round of 16, Second leg
AC Milan vs. Manchester United FC
Thursday, March 18 • 21:00 CET (4pm EDT)*
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.
*note the time difference due to American Daylight Savings Time

Europa League • AC Milan-Manchester United FC: European Nights Europa League • AC Milan-Manchester United FC: European Nights Reviewed by Elaine on 11:30 PM Rating: 5
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