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Granada vs Manchester United: UEFA Europa League background, form guide, previous meetings

Granada's debut season in European competition has brought them all the way to the quarter-finals, where they face 2016/17 winners Manchester United.

Granada are enjoying a superb debut season in Europe
Granada are enjoying a superb debut season in Europe Getty Images

Granada's debut season in European competition has brought them all the way to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, where they face 2016/17 winners and 2019/20 semi-finalists Manchester United.

• Granada have enjoyed a remarkable run in their first European campaign. Having started out in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round, the Spanish club were runners-up to PSV Eindhoven in Group E before ousting Napoli in the round of 32 and Molde in the round of 16 with identical results, winning 2-0 at home before losing 2-1 away.

• United competed in the UEFA Champions League during the autumn, defeats in their final two Group H fixtures leaving them in third place on nine points behind Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig. They have subsequently come through two UEFA Europa League ties, eliminating Spanish side Real Sociedad with ease (4-0 a, 0-0 h) before edging past AC Milan in the round of 16 (1-1 h, 1-0 a).

Irwin reaction to United's Granada date
Irwin reaction to United's Granada date

Previous meetings
• This is Granada's first UEFA encounter with English opposition.

• Despite beating Real Sociedad 4-0 in neutral Turin in the round of 32 first leg United have won only four times in 27 away fixtures against Spanish opposition (D11 L11), the most recent victory in Spain coming in the semi-final first leg of the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League, when a Marcus Rashford free-kick earned a 1-0 victory at Celta Vigo. The victory against Real Sociedad in Italy ended a nine-match, all-venues winless run against Spanish opposition, the last game in that sequence being their 2-1 defeat by Sevilla in neutral Cologne in last season's UEFA Europa League semi-final, a game in which they had gone ahead with an early Bruno Fernandes penalty.

• United's record in two-legged knockout ties against Spanish clubs is W7 L9. They have been eliminated from European competition by Liga opposition in each of the last three seasons – by Sevilla in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League round of 16 (0-0 a, 1-2 h) and in last season's UEFA Europa League semi-final, and by Barcelona in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League quarter-final (0-1 h, 0-3 a).

Nothing is Written: Granada
Nothing is Written: Granada

Form guide
Granada
• Granada earned a historic first qualification for European competition by finishing seventh in the 2019/20 Spanish Liga, having been promoted just the season before.

• Diego Martínez's side began the club's maiden continental voyage with a 4-0 win at Albanian side Teuta before sealing further progress with a 2-0 home win against Locomotive Tbilisi of Georgia and a 3-1 play-off success away to Swedish side Malmö.

• The Andalusian club made an impressive start to Group E, winning 2-1 at PSV, and although they lost the return fixture (0-1), a double over Omonoia (2-0 a, 2-1 h) and two goalless draws against PAOK enabled them to advance into the round of 32 in the Dutch club's slipstream.

• Granada's record in this debut European campaign is W8 D2 L3, with just eight goals conceded in those 13 matches and 21 scored. At home it is W4 D1 L1, with wins in both of their knockout phase ties against Napoli and Molde.

Man. United vs Spanish opponents
Man. United vs Spanish opponents

Manchester United
• United finished third in the Premier League last season, when they also lost three semi-finals – in the English League Cup, the FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League. Their league position enabled them to compete in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 23rd time.

• Ole Gunnar Solskjær's team got off to a flier in Group H, beating Paris 2-1 away and Leipzig 5-0 at home, but they lost three of their last four fixtures – 1-2 at İstanbul Başakşehir, 1-3 at home to Paris and 2-3 away to Leipzig – to drop down into third place.

• The Manchester giants have appeared in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals twice previously, winning both ties after extra time – 3-2 on aggregate against Anderlecht in 2016/17 (1-1 a, 2-1 h) with Rashford getting the decisive goal at Old Trafford, and 1-0 in their one-off game against Copenhagen in Cologne last season thanks to another Fernandes penalty.

• United's away record in the UEFA Europa League is W8 D4 L6, the three most recent encounters having all been won with clean sheets. They have lost just one of their last 12 away fixtures in the competition (W7 D4) – 2-1 at Astana on Matchday 5 last season – and have scored at least once in all of their UEFA Europa League knockout phase encounters outside England, Paul Pogba extending that run to 14 matches with the winner last time out in Milan.

Great Manchester United Champions League goals
Great Manchester United Champions League goals

Links and trivia
• United have three players with Spanish Liga experience – David de Gea (Atlético de Madrid 2008–11), Eric Bailly (Espanyol 2013–15, Villarreal 2015–16) and Juan Mata (Real Madrid Castilla 2006/07, Valencia 2007–11).

• Roberto Soldado, who scored in both legs of Granada's round of 16 victory against Molde, spent two seasons in England at Tottenham Hotspur (2013–15), scoring 16 goals in 76 appearances for the London club.

• Brazilian winger Kenedy is on a season-long loan to Granada from Chelsea, for whom he has scored three goals in 27 appearances. He has also played Premier League football on loan at Watford and Newcastle United.

• Other Granada players with brief experience of English football are Jesús Vallejo (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Dimitri Foulquier and Luis Suárez (both Watford), while Venezuelan midfielder Yangel Herrera is on loan to the Andalusian club from Manchester City, though he has never played a first-team game for United's local rivals.

• Bruno Fernandes is a Portugal national team-mate of Granada pair Rui Silva and Domingos Duarte.

• Granada are the sole survivors of the five clubs that appeared in the knockout phase of the UEFA Europa League for the first time this season, Antwerp, Hoffenheim, Leicester City and Wolfsberg having all been eliminated in the round of 32.

• Manchester United are the only club in this season's quarter-finals to have won the UEFA Europa League, though Ajax also lifted the trophy as UEFA Cup winners in 1992.

• United are the only one of the eight participants in last season's UEFA Europa League quarter-finals to have returned to the same stage of the competition in 2020/21. Just four other clubs have ever made it to the UEFA Europa League last eight in consecutive campaigns – Benfica (twice), Sevilla (three seasons in a row), Basel and Arsenal.