Thursday, 29 December 2011

What will City and United make of the Europa League?

When the season started fans of Manchester City and Manchester United will never have expected to be discussing their chances of winning the Europa League.

However, after failing to qualify from their respective groups in the Champions League both clubs find themselves looking at life in Europe’s second tier competition.

Given the importance of domestic matters though, questions have to be asked about how seriously they will be taking the Europa League.

One of the major attractions about the Champions League is the amount of money it generates for clubs and its little brother offers nowhere near as much cash. Those looking at the best online Europa League betting should remember this.

With that in mind, both clubs could be tempted to player weakened sides in order to ensure they have the best possible chance of winning the Premier League.

When the knockout stages of the competition get under way, United will face Ajax, while City face a tie with Porto.

Given both English sides will be facing tough matches against teams who might have also been expecting to play in the Champions League this season, questions will be asked as to whether either Sir Alex Ferguson or Roberto Mancini will be willing to risk their best players when they will be needed to fight for honour on other fronts.

With the FA Cup still up for grabs, it could be that both managers decide that the Europa League simply is not worth the effort and sacrifice it in order to ensure their star men are fit for what could be a very close title run in.