MANCHESTER UNITED now know that Celta Vigo are the last side standing between them and a shot at their first European silverware since winning the Champions League in 2008.
The Galician outfit reached the last four of the Europa League by beating Genk 4-3 on aggregate to set up a tie with Jose Mourinho’s side.
Tenth in La Liga, they are a tough proposition at Balaídos – where they have beaten Barcelona in the league and drawn with Real Madrid this season in the Copa del Rey – and won’t roll over for the Red Devils when the two sides meet next month.
We asked our friends at Football Whispers to identify five players who could cause United problems.
Best remembered as a Liverpool flop from the Brendan Rodgers era, Iago Aspas has been transformed at Celta and has bagged 23 in all competitions – including five in Celticos’ Europa League run.
The 29-year-old cost £9million when he signed from Celta in May 2013. But the Spaniard, who has won three caps and scored once for his country, failed to score in 14 Premier League appearances.
He was loaned back to Spain the following season, joining Sevilla and winning the Europa League while scoring ten times in 25 appearances.
Last season he returned to Celta in a €5million deal and the goals have flowed ever since. He bagged his first goals back at the club in a 4-1 win over Barcelona and finished the campaign with 18 strikers in all competitions.
Another striker who failed to make an impact in the Premier League, John Guidetti finally left Manchester City last summer after five loan spells in three different countries.
A tall, strong but technically gifted forward, Guidetti’s City career was totalled just one start in the League Cup.
The Sweden international took in loan spells at Feyenoord – scoring 20 from just 23 starts – before less profitable stints with Stoke City and Celtic.
Sometimes seen as something of a wild child, Guidetti has come of age in Spain. He scored seven times in just 12 starts last term and has struggled to break up the front pairing of Aspas and Giuseppe Rossi, but will hope to take his chance with the Italian out with yet another long-term injury.
Guidetti has still managed four goals in the Europa League though and, like Aspas, will be desperate to prove his quality against a Premier League side.
Spanish midfielder Jozabed only moved to England last summer, joining Fulham from Rayo Vallecano for an undisclosed fee after scoring nine times from midfield in his final season.
However, the 26-year-old struggled to break into the Championship side’s starting XI and returned to Spain on loan in January to join Celta for the remainder of the campaign.
He has not always been a regular since trading west London for Galicia but scored his second goal in seven starts in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Tony Adams’ Granada side.
A technically gifted midfielder with a good touch and an eye for a pass, it was Jozabed’s lack of physicality which let him down in England but he has quickly asserted himself as a handy midfield option for coach Eduardo Berizzo.
Capable of playing anywhere across the back four, though mostly employed as a left-back, Jonny was born in Vigo and has been with the club his entire career.
Originally with Celta’s B side he progressed to the first team 2012 and has been a fixture in the back four ever since.
Quick, strong and reliable he is a good tackler but not the best in the air.
A Spanish Under-21 international he has only been called up by La Roja’s senior side once – for a friendly in 2015 – but is yet to make his debut.
In nearly 300 career club appearances he has only scored three goals. However, the most recent was the winner against Real Madrid, sending Celta through to the last eight of the Copa del Rey. A repeat would do nicely against United.
Dane Daniel Wass is Celta’s Mr Versatile. Capable of playing anywhere in defence or midfield, the 27-year-old tends to feature in one of the three attacking midfield slots behind the main striker.
A full Danish international, Wass moved to Celta in 2015 from French side Evian where he made 133 league appearances in three seasons, quite often playing at left-back.
He has established himself as a regular since and has chipped in with seven goals from midfield this season – including two in the Europa League against Krasnodar and Panathinaikos.
Wass began his career in his homeland with Brondby and spent four years with the Superliga side before getting a move to Benfica. But he never played for the Portuguese outfit.
Instead he was immediately loaned to Evian and, after a successful season, signed a permanent €2.5million deal.