Beating Feyenoord tonight is a non-negotiable for Manchester United in their quest for European glory (10.05pm).
A point behind the top two, fullback Matteo Darmian says they have to win the Europa League Group A encounter at Old Trafford or risk being knocked out of the competition.
If Jose Mourinho’s charges fail to pitch up and lose the match, and log leaders Fenerbahce beat Zorya Luhansk in their penultimate group match, United would head for the exit door.
Darmian explains: “I think it is a difficult group because we have to face a difficult opponent, but we are still in the race.
“We have an important game against Feyenoord and have to win. We’ll prepare to make sure we’re ready.”
United lost 1-0 to Feyenoord in Rotterdam in September but are on a 13-game unbeaten streak at home in Europe, last losing to Real Madrid at Old Trafford in the 2012-13 season.
Feyenoord’s away record, meanwhile, is less than impressive, having not won in their last three attempts in European away games.
Italian Darmain adds: “I remember [playing Feyenoord away] because it was not a good game for us.
“We have to change this and win our away games, but for now we’re playing at home and maybe that is a little bit easier.”
The Europa League is the only major title United have not won and Darmian says the competition has become more attractive since the winners were guaranteed a Champions League spot.
United are sixth in the Premier League after 12 games, two places and six points below the Champions League spots.
He concludes: “I think it [the Europa league] is a big competition.
“[Winning it] gives us a big opportunity to get into the Champions League which is crucial for a club like Manchester United.”
EUROPE LEAGUE FIXTURES
Zenit v Maccabi Tel Aviv
Astana v APOEL
Fenerbahçe v Zorya
Qabala v Anderlecht (6pm)
Zürich v Villarreal
Hapoel Be’er Sheva v Internazionale
Steaua Bucharest v Osmanlspor
Sparta Prague v Southampton
Shakhtar Donetsk v Konyaspor
Gent v Sporting Braga
Slovan Liberec v Qaraba
Fiorentina v PAOK
Krasnodar v Salzburg
Schalke 04 v Nice
Celta Vigo v Standard Liège
Ajax v Panathinaikos (8pm)
Athletic Bilbao v Sassuolo
Genk v Rapid Vienna
Roma v Viktoria Plze
Austria Vienna v Astra
Dundalk v AZ Alkmaar
Olympiakos v Young Boys
Manchester United v Feyenoord
Saint-Étienne v Mainz 05 (10.05pm)