Manchester United, along with multiple other teams remaining, could complete their Europa League campaign in a mini-tournament, according to Mark Ogden of ESPN. Lisbon is the favourite to host the tournament, as per the BBC.
Manchester United Could Complete Europa League Campaign in Mini Tournament
Europa League Run So Far
Hoping to emulate the success of their last Europa League campaign, emerging victorious with a 2-0 win over Ajax in the 2016/17 final, Manchester United looked set to reach the quarter-finals after battering LASK 5-0 in the first leg of their round of 16 tie.
The Red Devils drew an easy group to begin the season. They qualified for the knockouts four points clear of second-place AZ Alkmaar, their only loss coming when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fielded United’s youngest ever starting XI in a European competition.
The round of 32 was equally straight forward. Despite a 1-1 draw in the first leg, the Manchester side ended the tie with a 6-1 aggregate victory.
And with a 5-0 advantage over LASK, they seemed almost certain to be reaching the quarter-finals.
But with the suspension of football came doubt over the potential of European silverware. Some top leagues across Europe have already seen their 2019/20 season come to a full stop, but with the Bundesliga having restarted weeks ago and another three of Europe’s big five leagues expected to return later this month, there are now rumours of ways in which this season’s Europa League could finish in its entirety.
What Might the Mini Tournament Be Like?
According to the report, Eintracht Frankfurt’s stadium is being prepared to host a Europa League mini tournament in August. It would consist of eight teams and could impact clubs like Manchester United, Bayer Leverkusen and Inter Milan, all of whom look likely to reach the quarter-finals.
The Stadion Energa Gdansk was due to play host to this season’s final. But, as UEFA are keen to complete the competition in a mini-tournament style, it is likely to be moved to Frankfurt as they have the infrastructure to host eight teams.
We will likely hear more on the matter with UEFA’s next executive committee meeting on June 17th.
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