3-2 down, United will need to score twice at the San Mames to make it into the draw on Friday. But whilst the football betting odds are stacked against them, Manchester United aren’t ready to give up just yet.
Ashley Young has been in sumptuous form of late, both creating and scoring goals. The winger is slowly getting back into his groove and feels that United are by no means out of the Europa League:
“It is unusual that we find ourselves in this position but there is a great team spirit here and everyone is full of confidence.
“Our form in general makes us believe we can score wherever we play.
“Our attacking play has been fantastic of late and we believe we can score the two goals we need.”
Whilst some estimated that United hadn’t be taking the Europa League seriously, hence their lacklustre displays, Young was also quick to dispel this notion claiming that it is a trophy they are seeking to capture:
“Our focus has not changed from the start of the season.
“We want to win every competition we enter and the Europa League is no different.
“Bilbao were an impressive team last week. They were a very attacking team, had a good team shape and at times we found them hard to break down.
“But I am sure if we are on our game 100 per cent we can go there and get the win we need.”
United will be buoyed by the return of Antonio Valencia who travelled to Bilbao with the team, especially important given that Nani remained in Manchester.
Valencia was in brilliant form prior to picking up a hamstring injury 4 weeks ago and if he can find this form against Athletic Bilbao, United will see their chances of qualifying increase.
United also travelled without Phil Jones and Anderson, the later having picked up a hamstring injury of his own. On a more positive note they welcome back Chris Smalling, after the head wound the defender picked up against Holland on England duty reopened against Bilbao last week, causing him to miss the game with West Brom on the weekend.