Manchester United take a break from the Premier League tomorrow as they turn their attention to Europe.
United are up against AC Milan in the last 16 of the Europa League, with the first leg taking place at Old Trafford on Thursday (March 11, 5.55pm kick-off).
The second leg is due to be played at the San Siro next week as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘s men look to progress to the quarter-finals.
United go into the home leg on the back of their impressive 2-0 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
That result left them second in the Premier League table, still 11 points behind leaders City.
It is a similar tale in Italy, with Milan second in Serie A, six points adrift of arch rivals Inter.
Former United and Liverpool striker Michael Owen is backing his old club to take a 1-0 lead back to Italy.
“Manchester United and AC Milan have shared quite a few memorable ties in years gone by,” said Owen in his latest BetVictor blog.
“Often this has been in Europe’s premier competition, the Champions League, but now they reacquaint in the Europa with both sides at similar stages of rebuilding after a few years of transition.
“Known for their formidable counter-attacking style, United will no doubt be happy to let Milan come at them.
“However, the Italians are a clever side, so I don’t think United will get it all their own way.
“With that in mind, I can see this being cagey. At home in Europe, United have played well overall this season, and I think if they are patient here, they should get their reward.
“So, it’s a narrow win for the home side for me.”
Another former United striker, Dimitar Berbatov, agrees with his old team-mate.
“I expect United to win and go through to the next phase,” Berbatov told Betfair.
“Obviously, AC Milan are enjoying a renaissance and playing better than previous seasons.
“They were top, but now second in Serie A six points behind Inter. They are still there in the title race in my opinion.”
Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to miss the first leg against his old club due to injury.
“AC Milan have good players and are led by none other than Zlatan Ibrahimovic,” said Berbatov.
“It would be a shame if he misses out through injury. In many ways, it would be good news for United as he would be up for that game.
“I just feel it is a game they (United) should win.”
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Manchester United secured a memorable 2-0 derby victory over Man City at the Etihad Stadium.
Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw scored the goals to clinch an unexpected, but empathic, victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops against the league leaders.
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Berbatov added: “I used to support AC Milan when Marco Van Basten played there. They had the likes of Rijkaard and Maldini there too.
“Things have been more difficult for them recently. At United when we played them, AC Milan had Beckham.
“We won comfortably at Old Trafford with a 4-0 win, it was a great win for us.”