Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic has reiterated that he expects Manchester United to respect him when the two sides meet in the Europa League quarter-finals at Old Trafford tonight.
United will be looking for a strong home advantage ahead of the return leg in Spain seven days later.
Speaking to Diario AS, Rakitic said, “It’s a very difficult but beautiful game to be able to grow a lot.
“We will fight to the max to get a good result for the second leg, in front of our home crowd, in Sánchez-Pizjuan.
But I know we will give United credit because of Sevilla’s great record in this competition.
“Don’t make a mistake, the most important thing. Every mistake in a conflict like this will be punished, you can’t be stupid.
“We are in the quarter-finals and the best are there,” added the Croatian. There is very little to go to the end. We have to play the best game possible and believe in ourselves as much as possible.
Sevilla boss Jose Luis Mendilibar echoed Rakitic’s sentiments and said United are undoubtedly a great opponent but their players should not be underestimated in any way.
Mendilibar also pointed out that Sevilla have won a record six times in the Europa League, once in 2020 when they beat the Red Devils in the semi-finals as they went on to lift the trophy.
Mendilibar said Marcus Rashford’s absence will not change his tactical approach to the game.
Regarding Rashford’s absence, Mendilibar said: “No, nothing has changed. For players playing in our defence, if Rashford plays or another opponent plays, it might be different for those defenders, but it won’t be different for us.
“We knew about the injury at the weekend but we didn’t change the strategy or how we played in any way because he played or not. [Manchester United] They have great players.
“He’s only been playing forward but they’ve got other strikers in that position. We know whoever comes in for Rashford will be good.
The players of Ten Hag and United have not hidden their desire to win the Europa League and against Sevilla, they will have the opportunity to get sweet revenge at the hands of Los Nervienses in 2020.
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