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Europa League: What To Look For On MatchDay 3

Europa League Trophy

Manchester United will recognise a familiar face as they head to Cyprus, and José Mourinho will be taking his own trip down memory lane with Roma, while Arsenal have awkward opponents on UEFA Europa League Matchday 3.

Today we pick out some key talking points ahead of the third set of fixtures.

United to break new ground in Cyprus
Having played their maiden game in Moldova on Matchday 2, Manchester United are set for another new experience as they come to Cyprus for the first time for a competitive game, Omonoia their hosts in Nicosia. However, if the circumstances are new, at least one face will be familiar. Omonoia are coached by one-time Manchester City man Neil Lennon, who faced United many times with Celtic and Leicester.

Champions League Trophy

In the first half of Match Day 3, we saw Bayern made Champions League history but the German side had to share the headlines as Napoli hit six away to Ajax and Club Brugge continued to confound expectations against Atlético Madrid. The trio all made it three wins from three, but Group D is much closer after Marseille’s recovery from a nightmare start blew the section wide open.

Manchester Derby

Manchester City outclassed Manchester United once again at the Etihad Stadium as Erling Haaland became the first player to score three successive Premier League home hat-tricks.

Haaland’s rampant start to the season continued as he made it 17 goals in 11 starts – a goal every 54 minutes – since his move from Borussia Dortmund while Phil Foden scored his first hat trick for City as they closed the gap on pace-setters Arsenal to one point.

This was a brutal reality check for United after their recent improvement, as the reigning Premier League champions ran riot to illustrate the gulf in class between the teams.

USA National Team

It is difficult to narrow down the issues that the USMNT has heading into the World Cup in two months.

As we saw in today’s lackluster 2-0 defeat to Japan, Gregg Berhalter’s side was second best throughout the friendly, they looked short of ideas in attack and made multiple errors at the back in what was a step in competition for the Americans. difficult test.

The USMNT is not good enough or deep enough to overcome suspensions, injuries or players out of form.

Against Japan for example, Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, Yunus Musah, Chris Richards, Antonee Robinson and Zack Steffen were missing due to injuries.

Biggest Issue For Brazil Ahead Of Qatar World Cup

Qatar 2022

Brazil has a problem that any of World Cup contender would love to have. They have too many good forwards…

In naming his most recent squad, Brazilian manager Tite chose to leave Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli out of his latest squad, so depth is clearly not a concern for the five-time winners.

What is a concern to Brazilian fans is that if Brazil fail to win the World Cup in Qatar, it will be 24 years for the Samba Boys without winning the coveted trophy. Winning three Copa America titles and an Olympic gold medal is nice, but two decades without lifting the most valuable piece of silverware in the game is just not acceptable for Brazilians.

England Tickets

As England prepare for the World Cup, the issue that is keeping Gareth Southgate up at night is his central defence, largely because stalwart Harry Maguire has become an increasingly peripheral figure at Manchester United.

‘Clearly, it’s not an ideal situation,’ said Southgate. ‘You want your best players playing regularly so that they’re physically and mentally in a good place. But he is an important player for us.

‘It’s important to back our best players. You always have to back your judgement. If we thought there were experienced players ready to step in and play at a level above him there would be a different consideration.

Biggest Issue For France Ahead Of The World Cup

Pogba World Cup

The biggest issue for the defending World Champions is that they are one big, chaotic mess, with less than two months before they have to defend their title.

There are issues for France both on and off the field. Off the pitch, starman Kylian Mbappe is still up against the France Football Federation over image rights, while Paul Pogba’s year is not getting any better.

On the pitch, it is even worse. They failed to win any of their past four Nations League games and conceded in all of them, which puts them bottom of their group.

Holland Questions Ahead Of 2022 World Cup

Virgil van Dijk

As we edge closer and closer the 2022 World Cup, the biggest issue that Holland is facing is the lack of march sharpness that key players have.

“I would be happier if Frenkie and Memphis would play more than they are now,” said coach Louis van Gaal.

Memphis Depay was the joint-top scorer (12) in European World Cup qualifying but has played just 116 minutes out of 540 for Barcelona in La Liga this season.

Frenkie de Jong has started three of Barcelona’s six league games but was dropped for the loss away to Bayern Munich. Depay was an unused substitute in that game.

Biggest Issue For Mexico Ahead Of The World Cup

Mexico Fans

The biggest issue that Mexico faces is who can replace Tecatito? After Tecatito Corona suffered a left fibula and ankle ligament injury in August, it became clear Mexico’s first-choice attack would require some retooling.

When all are fit, Corona slots in well alongside Chucky Lozano and Raul Jimenez. Alexis Vega appears to be the front-runner to take his place, challenged by Uriel Antuna, Diego Lainez and Orbelin Pineda among others.

After struggling to convert chances in qualifying, El Tri fans are yearning to see someone keep the team among the goals.

Biggest Issue For Germany Ahead Of The World Cup

German Football Players

The issue that is keeping Germany manager Hansi Flick awake at night is his lack of attacking options

Germany’s problems are the same for every tournament: they don’t have a reliable centre-forward and only ever have one decent attacking full-back.

West Ham United’s Thilo Kehrer is likely to be a more defensive counterpart to David Raum on the other side of the back four, which might not be the worst combination.

Short of a dramatic change of citizenship by a certain Harald Kahn, Hansi Flick will continue to field a variable four-pronged attack, hoping that they will collectively make up for the lack of a real No 9.