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Ferdinand, Hargreaves & Scholes make Europa League final prediction

Owen Hargreaves, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Europa League
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Ahead of the Europa League final between Villarreal and Manchester United, the three ex-Red Devils stars each gave their predictions.

Rio Ferdinand, Owen Hargreaves, and Paul Scholes have each backed Manchester United to beat Villarreal in the Europa League final.

The two clubs will meet in Gdansk, Poland, on May 26 for the competition’s final after successfully winning their respective ties in the semi-finals.

Despite losing 3-2 to Roma in the second-leg, United reached the final with an 8-5 triumph on aggregate. It’s the first time they’ve got to a final under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

A goalless second-leg draw with Arsenal, meanwhile, was enough to book Villarreal a spot in the final with a 2-1 aggregate victory.

The Spanish side’s manager Unai Emery is a three-time Europa League winner and hopes to pull off another upset against an English giant for a fourth title, but can he do it?

According to three former United stars, the answer is no.

Rio Ferdinand’s verdict

“If Manchester United turn up and perform anywhere near their best, they win the game, hands down, probably by a couple of goals,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“They’ve got players in there that have won this competition already as well. Unai Emery has got experience, but some of these Man United players on the pitch have been there and done it too.”

Owen Hargreaves’ verdict

“Unai Emery is close to getting the trophy named after him, the amount of times he’s won it.

“It will be a tough game, with Unai’s experience and because Villarreal have a lot of goalscorers in their side.

“But Manchester United are favorites. They’ve got the best squad, the most talented players. If the likes of Bruno [Fernandes], [Edinson] Cavani, and [Paul] Pogba turn up, they should get the job done.”

Paul Scholes’ verdict

“I haven’t seen a lot of Villarreal and they do have goals in their teams. It’s hard to go against Unai Emery with his record in the competition, but United have hit some real form at the right time.

“I expect them [United] to win it with the squad they’ve got.”