Iago Aspas leads Celta Vigo's near-complete squad for Manchester United showdown

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal
Iago Aspas

Former Liverpool forward Iago Aspas leads Celta Vigo's 18-man squad to face Manchester United on Thursday night (4 May), as manager Eduardo Berizzo looks to secure a positive result in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals.

The Argentine boss is expected to deploy his strongest line-up on Balaidos as he only has two injury absentees: former Manchester United forward Giuseppe Rossi and left-back Carles Planas.

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Rossi is out for the rest of the season after suffering a serious injury to his left knee last month. Meanwhile, Planas returned to training earlier this week after recovering from a knee issue but he has not been given the medical clearance to face Manchester United.

Goalkeeper Ruben Blanco is fully fit again, but Berizzo feels the European encounter will come too early for him after missing two months.

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Furthermore, Pape Cheikh Diop, Alvaro Lemos, Andrew Hjulsager and Josep Señé will also miss the visit of Manchester United after failing to make the final 18-man squad due to technical reasons.

One way or another the seven absentees won't upset Berizzo's plans to face United as the Celta boss is expected to deploy his strongest XI, formed by Sergio Avarez; Hugo Mallo, Gustavo Cabral, Andreu Fontás Jonny Castro; Nemanja Radoja, Pablo Hernández and Daniel Wass; and Aspas, John Guidetti and Pione Sisto.

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Manchester United are the big favourites to go through the final but the Celta boss believes his side have what it takes to upset Jose Mourinho' and keep alive the dream of clinching their first ever trophy.

"We all have to pull together and believe we can get the result we've dreamt of. To make that dream a reality we have to keep everyone motivated and try to overcome what is a great side by making a huge effort. I hope we experience a special night," Berizzo said in the press conference ahead of the game.

"Manchester United are one of the biggest teams around and the only way to beat them is to stick to our identity and play with our hearts. We have to be true to ourselves. My players have matured at incredible speed and tomorrow they'll be very confident in themselves. This is the game every Celta fan wants to see."

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