Following a goalless first leg, victory will see United become the third English side to progress to the quarter-finals after Manchester City and Liverpool. "So, of course, knockout becomes more important than league matches".
"I'm sure Sevilla feel the same way, and they already showed in the first leg that they have players and football to make things hard for us".
To reach those lofty heights, however, his team will likely have to perform better than they did three weeks ago in Seville.
But Mata reckons the Red Devils can overcome their rivals to win the competition just as his Chelsea side did in 2012.
Delivering two major trophies last season and a return to the Champions League represented a foundation base upon which to build, and while they are not at Europe's elite level yet there are signs that something big is building.
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Some onlookers later questioned the wisdom of such an approach though, with Jose Mourinho having made a decision to take his chances back in Manchester despite the knowledge that a score draw would see United dumped out of the competition at the round of 16 stage.
Mourinho himself has a mixed record. Pep Guardiola's side walloped the Ukrainians 7-0 in the second game at the Allianz Arena, the largest margin following a scoreless opening game in Champions League history. Limiting the opposition to as few chances as possible with the knowledge his own troops have plenty in attack often proves hugely effective.
Sevilla, who are now unbeaten in 23 of their last 26 home games in European competition - a span of five seasons - face a considerable challenge.
Do you think that Manchester United could go all the way in the Champions League?