FORMER Manchester City and Celtic striker John Guidetti hopes "to keep the city blue" as his Celta Vigo side take on Manchester United in the Europa League.

The Spanish club host United in the first leg of their semi-final on Thursday.

Guidetti, 25, joined City at the age of 16 but never made the breakthrough to the first team. He was loaned out to five clubs including Burnley, Feyenoord and Stoke before spending eight months at Parkhead, scoring eight goals in 24 appearances, before joining Celta Vigo on a free transfer in July 2015.

The first real glimpse of his talent came during his successful loan spell at Feyenoord in 2011-12 but illness forced a lengthy lay-off, but he has been playing regularly both in LaLiga and the Europa League this season

"[United are] a very good team. Obviously they've got a good manager, a fantastic stadium, and they're one of the favourites to win the Europa League but, as they say, 'Manchester is blue' and that's how it will be when we visit there as well, because we are Celta Vigo and we will try to keep the city blue."

The competition is important to United as it provides an alternative route into next season's Champions League should they miss out on a place in the Premier League's top four.

Celta are mid-table in the Primera Division but Guidetti points out spirit has carried them a long way in Europe and is hopeful of an upset.

The Swede said: "We believed from the start that we could get to the final. I think we've showed it in the way we play – we've never given up.

"We also know what's at stake – not only that you win the Europa League, which is huge, but you can also win a place in the Champions League. You have dreams about that.

"In football, strange things happen if you believe and I think with the mentality we've built here, nothing is impossible."