This preview sees the return of the Europa League after a fortnight's absence with two Premier League sides facing huge matches in the context of their European campaigns.

First up is Manchester United who host Dutch leaders Feyenoord at Old Trafford. United have been inconsistent througout this season but they still garner hopes of progression in this tournament and given their league form they may well need to keep this avenue open if they are to secure Champions League football next season.

Feyenoord have had an excellent season to date, they are top of the Eredivisie and they are second but level on points with leaders Fenerbahce. A win at Old Trafford will mean double Dutch delight for the visitors.

Manchester United vs Feyenoord – Thursday 24th November 2016 – 20:05 - BT Sport

Manchester United

Manchester United welcome Feyenoord to Old Trafford, in the fifth round of matches from this season's Europa League group stage.

Manchester United come into this match on the back of a home draw against Arsenal, with a 1-1 draw the outcome after 90 minutes.

Juan Mata opened the scoring in the 68th minute, capitalising on the dominance that the home side enjoyed.

Olivier Giroud converted Arsenal's only shot on target in the 89th minute, a result that Arsenal will have been delighted with.

Premier League Target

That result will have devastated both United and Mourinho, it again goes to show that United are lacking the cutting edge required, at both ends of the pitch.

The main challenge for Manchester United will be to compete domestically, a run in the Europa League is motivation for the fringe players at the club.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan should return for United, having played no part in the club's recent matches, due to a combination of injuries and mental fragility.

They have found the going to be very tough in the Europa League, they have been frustrating throughout the tournament.

United Favourites

Manchester United come into this tie as heavy favourites, with their pedigree and form this season informing those odds.

They will be looking to get back to winning ways, they will also be looking to gain top spot in the group.

This is the second meeting between the two sides, United will be looking to exact revenge for the opening round defeat.

Man United are 2/5 with Zlatan Ibrahimovic at 100/30 to score first.

Manchester United

Feyenoord In Great Form

The Dutch side come into this game on the back of an emphatic 3-0 win against PEC Zwolle last weekend.

Goals from Dirk Kuyt (38), El Ahmadi (71) and Toornstra (76) completing a comfortable win for the home side.

Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be delighted with that result, with a home win and a return to winning ways.

Great Season So Far

Feyenoord have started the season in excellent fashion, they sit top of the Eredivisie by two points.

Prior to this match they had endured the worst run of their season, with two draws and a defeat in their last three league matches.

That had slightly opened the door for sides like Ajax and PSV Eindhoven to close the gap, but the weekend win has given them some breathing space.

Feyenoord have been excellent in defence and attack, their goal difference of +24 suggests that they have been brilliant in all facets of the game.

United A Huge Challenge

Feyenoord come into this match as underdogs, despite sitting above United in the group table it will be a huge match for the Dutchmen.

They have collected 7 points from their opening four games so far, with Fenerbahce ahead of them on goal difference.

Feyenoord will be looking to make it a double dutch against Mourinho, with a win earlier in the campaign against United.

Feyenoord are 7/1 with Nicolai Jorgensen at 17/2 to open the scoring.


The second match sees the early kick off between Sparta Prague and Southampton.

The home side are in excellent form in Europe and they top their group. They are the only side to have beaten Hapoel Beer Sheva at home and their only defeat this season was in the opening game at St.Marys. Since then they have registered a 100% record and will be looking to avenge the earlier result.

Southampton come into this match in mixed form in the Premier League, they drew against high-flying Liverpool in their last match but have found wins hard to come by in recent times.

Their Europa League form has been excellent and in many ways ignited their domestic season at times. They come into this match on the back of one of the clubs greatest victories, beating Inter Milan 2-1 at home last time out.


Sparta Prague vs Southampton – Thursday 24th November 2016 – 18:00 - BT Sport

Sparta Prague

Sparta Prague welcome Southampton to the Generali Arena, in the fifth round of matches from this season's Europa League group stage.

Sparta Praha come into this match on the back of a 3-0 win against Karvina in the Czech First League.

It was an excellent result for Sparta given their recent mixed league form, the result has allowed them to remain in fourth place.

Despite their form being mixed, they have in their last three matches turned the corner, with two wins and a draw.

This Is Sparta

They have found form much easier to come by in Europe, they have won 3 of their four matches in the Europa League.

Since their opening day defeat against Southampton at St.Mary's, they have a 100% record in the competition.

They have beaten Inter Milan 3-1 at home and they have done the double over Hapoel Beer Sheva, winning 1-0 away and at home 2-0.

Southampton Favourites

Despite those excellent results they still come into this match as underdogs, even with home advantage.

Given how Sparta have started the season they will fancy getting a result here, using their European experience as well.

This is the second meeting between the two sides and Sparta will be looking to avenge the 3-0 defeat earlier in the season.

Sparta Prague are 13/5 with David Lafata at 6/1 to score first.

Sparta Prague

Saints Mixed

This is Southampton's maiden appearance in European competition, with the South Coast club finishing in 7th place last season.

They come into this match on the back of a 0-0 draw against Liverpool at the weekend.

It was a great defensive display against free-scoring Liverpool, Forster was in excellent form keeping Liverpool's attacking players at bay.

Mixed Season So Far

Southampton have had a mixed start to the season, they find themselves in 11th place in the Premier League.

They have only won one Premier League game in their last six attempts, seemingly struggling with the demands of European football.

Claude Puel's side have accquited themselves well in Europe this term, they come into this match on the back of 2-1 win against Inter at home.

Arguably one of their greatest ever wins as a club, it is also a sign that the club can compete in this competition.

Europe A Welcome Relief?

They face a huge challenge to remain competitive in the Premier League and progress in the Europa League.

Southampton currently find themselves second in Group K, with seven points from their opening four matches.

European matches at St.Mary's are what the club has worked so hard for, the players will be motivated to ensure they don't fail after last season's exploits.

They will be looking to complete a double over the Czech side, having beaten them earlier in the campaign by 3-0.

Southampton are 11/10 with Shane Long and Jay Rodriguez at 5/1 to open the scoring.


Betting Tips

Tip 1 – Rashford to score first @ 7/2 and United to win 2-1 @ 15/2

Tip 2 –  Austin to score first @ 9/2 and a 1-1 draw @ 9/2


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