ZAPSPORTZ team leader Glenn Hoddle believes Manchester United will waltz into the final of the Europa League by trouncing Celta Vigo at Old Trafford next week.
United go into the return 1-0 up after the first leg in Spain, and former England boss Hoddle reckons they did it at a canter.
But whilst Glenn can only see a comprehensive United victory in the second leg, former United skipper Paul Ince is not convinced it will be as easy as people might think.
He points to United’s indifferent home record as the reason behind his cautious thinking. United have drawn a whopping 14 games in the Premier League season – more than any other club in the division.
Ten of those stalemates have come on home turf; and the majority against the so-called lesser sides they would expect to beat in the own backyard. Old Trafford is no longer the fortress it once was.
Swansea, West Brom, Hull, West Ham, Burnley and Stoke have all gone to the Theatre of Dreams and come away with a point – a nightmare scenario for Jose Mourinho. Hence Ince’s caution.
United though are in a rich vein of form – 12 games unbeaten – and Spurs legend Glenn reckons if United can win in Spain without getting out of third gear, they will cruise to victory next week.
The quality of sides in the competition this season has been widely viewed as weaker than previous years, and United are the favourites to lift the only major trophy the club is yet to win.
Speaking as a pundit on ITV, Hoddle said: “They weren’t as free flowing and controlling in that game as you would expect from Manchester United.
‘For me, I still see them as not in top gear yet, and in this trophy, the opposition they have played, they have only needed to get into third gear. I am waiting for them to go into top gear.
“In the second leg, if Celta Vigo get an early goal, I think United will go through the gears and trounce them.”
Former United midfielder Ince also feels United should go through, but is less confident they will ‘trounce’ Celta, as Glenn suggests. And it’s all down to that pesky and unpredictable home form.
Quoted in the Mail on Sunday – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4475294/Man-United-gear-Europa-League-Hoddle – Ince said: “When I look at United in this campaign I have seen them be efficient, doing a professional job and getting a 1-0 goal for an advantage to take back to Old Trafford.
“I just think at Old Trafford they seem to struggle, like in the Anderlecht game, I think it will be a tough game. Let’s hope Old Trafford wants us to win because when Old Trafford wants, we win. So let’s hope they want to.”