Michael Owen

Former Premier League striker, Michael Owen, has backed Manchester United to beat Astana in today's UEFA Europa League opener at Old Trafford.

He also tipped Arsenal to beat Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany, while Wolves will defeat Braga at home.

Speaking to BetVictor, Owen said: "United gained a narrow, but much-needed, win against Leicester on Saturday and should follow it up in what is the first European game between English and Kazakhstani clubs.

"Astana lost 2-0 against Bate Borisov in Belarus in the last qualifying round but had won the 1st leg 3-0.

"It would be disappointing if United did not get their Europa League campaign off to a winning start."

Commenting on the Frankfurt vs Arsenal game, Owen said: "Last year's beaten semi-finalists Frankfurt entertain last year's beaten finalists Arsenal in one of the games of Matchday one.

"The Bundesliga outfit are a real threat, especially at home, although they lost 2-1 at Augsburg at the weekend and lost their most-prized asset Sebastien Haller to West Ham during the summer.

"The Gunners are likely to have their chances on the break and I feel their quality strikers will give Unai Emery a winning start as they bid to go one better in the competition than last year.'"

On the Wolves vs Braga match, Owen said: "Wolves have won all six Europa League ties in reaching the Group stages this season and their Portuguese coach Nuno Espirito Santo will know all about his compatriots who visit Molineux on Thursday.

"Indeed, there are seven Portuguese players in the Wolves squad as well as Frenchman Willy Boly who played for Braga between 2015-16.

"Wolves have conceded eight times in their last couple of league games, but Braga have also lost their last couple of domestic games and were thrashed 4-0 at home by Benfica in their penultimate match. I hope to see Wolves extend their excellent recent European record."

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