Paul Scholes rates Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal’s Europa League chances after booking last-16 spot

BT Sport Pundit, Paul Scholes looks on prior to the Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on December 26, 2020 in Leicester, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution.
Scholes rated the English sides’ chances (Picture: Getty)

Paul Scholes thinks Manchester United are the clear favourites to win the Europa League but downplayed Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur’s chances of lifting the title.

United cruised into the last-16 of the competition with a 4-0 aggregate win over Real Sociedad, while Spurs enjoyed a similarly comfortable 8-1 aggregate victory against Austrian outfit Wolfsberger.

It was a less straightforward task for Arsenal, however, who came back from 2-1 down on Thursday night to win 4-3 on aggregate against Portuguese giants Benfica, but they will all be in the draw for the next stage.

European giants AC Milan and Ajax are among the biggest names left in the competition, but Scholes thinks United have nothing to fear as they look to win a first piece of silverware under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But the former Manchester United midfielder is not so convinced that Arsenal or Spurs can go all the way, even if he thinks they will fancy their own chances.

Asked if Arsenal, Spurs, Man Utd and Rangers will start to think about winning the tournament, Scholes replied: ‘Man United have. I’m not sure about the other teams.

Teams left in Europa League last-16

Ajax
Arsenal
Granada
Rangers
Shakhtar
Molde
Villarreal
Young Boys
Dynamo Kyiv
Dinamo Zagreb
Slavia Prague
Manchester United
AC Milan
Olympiakos
Roma
Tottenham

‘Look, Man United have the best squad and the best team left in the competition.

‘We thought that last year, obviously Sevilla were still around then. We know what they’re like in the Europa League so they found it difficult.

‘But this is a great chance for United to go on and win something. There could be some brilliant games but there could be some rubbish games.

‘Yeah they [Arsenal and Spurs] will be thinking they’re in with a good chance, of course they will.

‘But Manchester United are much better than Arsenal and Tottenham.

‘Of course I would [fancy United against anyone left]. Italian football, Spanish football is nowhere near as good as it used to be. Milan are top of the league, I think United would cruise past Milan.’

Manchester United's Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seen wearing a mask because of the coronavirus pandemic ahead of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32, 2nd leg football match between Manchester United and Real Sociedad at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on February 25, 2021.
Can Solskjaer win the Europa League? (Picture: AFP via Getty)

‘Steven Gerrard against Manchester United, the Liverpool vs United thing would be great. He’s done a fantastic job. Again, surprisingly enough, I think United would win that game.

‘But you know, we look back at Spanish football. When this game was drawn, Sociedad were top of the league so we thought this could be difficult and they go over there to Turin and actually destroyed them.

‘Over two legs it was a simple tie. So yeah, I fancy United surprisingly enough.’

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