Rio Ferdinand, Owen Hargreaves and Paul Scholes have all tipped Manchester United to win the Europa League final against Villarreal. The Red Devils reached their first final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after beating Serie A side Roma 8-5 on aggregate in an entertaining semi-final tie. Spanish outfit Villarreal, meanwhile, booked their place in the May 26 final with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal, as Unai Emery got revenge over his former club. ‘If Manchester United turn up and perform anywhere near their best, they win the game, hands down, probably by a couple of goals,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport after the Europa League finalists were confirmed.
They’ve got players in there that have won this competition already as well. Unai Emery has got experience but some of these Man United players on the pitch have been there and done it too. ‘Listen, I don’t see it being a huge problem for Manchester United. But it’s a final and the players won’t look at it like that. They will know they need to prepare right, focus and get the job done.’ Hargreaves added: ‘Unai Emery is close to getting the trophy named after him, the amount of times he’s won it.
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🇪🇸 Villarreal vs. Man Utd 🏴
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It will be a tough game, with Unai’s experience and because Villarreal have a lot of goalscorers in their side. ‘But Manchester United are favourites. They’ve got the best squad, the most talented players. If the likes of Bruno [Fernandes], [Edinson] Cavani and [Paul] Pogba turn up they should get the job done.’ Scholes, who won 11 Premier League titles and the Champions League twice during his spell at Old Trafford, said: ‘I agree with Owen. ‘I haven’t seen a lot of Villarreal and they do have goals in their teams. It’s hard to go against Unai Emery with his record in the competition but United have hit some real form at the right time.
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‘I expect them to win it with the squad they’ve got.’ Former Arsenal manager Emery won the Europa League three times in a row between 2014 and 2016 before leading the Gunners to the final in 2019, where they lost to Chelsea. Jose Mourinho guided Manchester United to their only Europa League triumph in 2017, and the club will hope to win the first trophy in the Solskjaer era later this month.