What time is Celta Vigo vs Manchester United in the Europa League semi-final, which TV channel is it on and what are the odds?

Telegraph Sport
Celta's Eduardo Berizzo hosts Jose Mourinho and Manchester United for Thursday night's Europa League semi-final first leg - Getty Images

What is it?

It's the first leg of the Europa League semi-final, the outcome of which after next Thursday's second leg at Old Trafford on May 11 will determine which of the two teams, Celta Vigo and Manchester United, will meet the winners of the other semi-final between Ajax and Lyon in the final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden on Wednesday, May 24. 

When is it?

Inscribe Thursday, May 4 in your diary and you can eradicate all doubt and uncertainty from your mind.

What time is kick-off?

It's at the pay-TV schedule friendly time of 8.05pm (BST). As soon as the second hand strikes 12 to propel the minute hand on to five, referee Sergei Karasev will give his Acme Thunderer a toot to commence proceedings at Vigo's Estadio Municipal de Balaídos in Galicia in Spain's breathtaking north west.

What TV channel is it on?

You will have to tune in to BT Sport 2 to watch the official broadcast which begins at 7.30pm. Will Jake Humphrey remain in the hot seat for the Europa League or will they parachute in Gary Lineker for the last English team standing? Likely pundits include the Manchester United-friendly Michael Owen, Paul Scholes Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves.

It's BT Sport's Europa League A-TeamCredit: McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

BBC Radio 5 Live has audio commentary and you should join us here, on this very page, to read our minute-by-minute live blog helmed by the dynamite duo of JJ Bull and his robot who produces lovely, informative graphics and never succumbs to saying: "Boogie, Boogie." 

What is the team news?

Celta Vigo

Giuseppe Rossi, the Italy and former Manchester United striker, is out until at least December after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last month and the left-back Carles Planas is unavailable after hurting his knee last week, but not so severely. The goalkeeper Rubén Blanco, who has played in four Europa League matches this season, hurt his right thigh at the beginning of March but resumed training on Monday.

Iago Aspas celebrates his goal in the last 16 match against KrasnodarCredit: AP

Celta, who are 11th in La Liga, are likely to stick with the 4-3-3 system that has served them so well, with Pione Sisto, Iago Aspas and John Guidetti up front. Aspas is in tremendous form after being bombed out at Anfield early and not given the 18 months it sometimes takes for Spanish players to settle in England while Guidetti will be familiar to Man City fans and Sisto to United fans - he scored home and away against them for Midtjylland last season, the second overshadowed by Marcus Rashford's dream debut. 

Manchester United

You would think Jose Mourinho might have mentioned that Manchester United are experiencing a few injury problems, wouldn't you? Instead it falls to us to break the news this stoical, reasonable man is too forbearing to reveal. Sadly United will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic,  Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling, all suffering from knee injuries of varying seriousnes and Luke Shaw who has hurt his foot. Happily, though, Eric Bailly has been passed fit enough to join the party and both he and the other main doubt, Paul Pogba, are expected to play. In another boost Philip 'Phil' Jones trained on Tuesday and has been included in the 23-man squad.

Phil Jones is back in training for Manchester UnitedCredit: REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff

 

Manchester United squad  De Gea, Romero, Pereira; Bailly, Blind, Darmian, Jones, Smalling, Tuanzebe, Valencia, Young; Carrick, Fellaini, Herrera, Lingard, Mata, McTominay, Mkhitaryan, Pogba, Willock; Martial, Rashford, Rooney.

What are they saying?

Celta Vigo manager, the notoriously homophobic Eduardo Berizzo, sounded the trumpets for his players to perform at the sold out Balaídos: 

"We all have to go together, hand in hand, imagining about a dream result," he said. "To be able to accomplish the dream should stimulate everyone to try to overcome a great team by giving a great effort. I really hope we experience a special night."

Mourinho says Manchester United are playing for their lives on ThursdayCredit: OLI SCARFF/AFP

Meanwhile Jose Mourinho, who won the competition with Porto in 2003, covets this trophy as much for itself as the Champions League place it offers

"We know we play our lives on Thursday in Vigo," he said, "because we have to consider that the most important match of the season as we have reached a European semi-final."

"Fellaini and Pogba will be back for that game, so we have more options and we try with everything we have and we go again.

What are the odds?

  • Celta Vigo win - 2/1
  • Manchester United win - 6/4
  • Draw - 11/5

What is our prediction?

A draw in Vigo with Manchester United leading until the last 10 minutes before conceding. 

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