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Confirmed XI: Henderson, Bailly, Telles, Fernandes, Martial and Greenwood start against AC Milan; Dalot starts for his loan club

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Manchester United return to UEFA Europa League action at Old Trafford this evening as they welcome Italian giants AC Milan to the Theatre of Dreams for the first time in the European competition. United last faced Milan in the UEFA Champions League during the 2009/10 season in which they won 7-2 on aggregate, which was a great result back then. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be boosted by their 2-0 Manchester derby victory over Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday, which saw Bruno Fernandes score a second minute penalty and Luke Shaw score his first goal of the season in the 50th minute of the match, getting the better over Pep Guardiola’s side who has won their last 21 matches in all competitions.

United have managed 24 away matches in the Premier League undefeated, closing in on Arsenal 27 match unbeaten record which was set between April 2003 and September 2004. In all domestic competitions, United have managed 29 matches unbeaten, which is a major positive this season. United’s home form is not as impressive, but Rome was not built in a day. There is progress to be seen, unless you are one of those supporters who seem to find negativity everywhere and nothing ever pleases you. Last season, United made it to the semi-final stage of the Europa League and they will be seeking to go further this season following their exit from the Champions League back in December. You have to be in it to win it.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Telles;

Matic, McTominay;

James, Fernandes, Martial;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Grant, Bishop; Lindelof, Shaw, Williams, Tuanzebe; Fred, Diallo, Shoretire

AC Milan:

G. Donnarumma;

Calabria, Tomori, Kjaer, Dalot;

Krunic, Meite, Kessie;

Saelemaekers, Leao, Diaz

Substitutes:

Tatarusanu, A. Donnarumma, Castillejo, Tonali, Kalulu, Tonin, Gabbia

United and Milan have met competitively ten times in the history of both clubs, all in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. United have won five times with Milan winning five times, meaning there has been no draws between the two clubs. United have scored 13 goals against Milan with the Italian giants scoring 13 goals – making it level between the two clubs. The last time United faced Milan was in the round of 16 in the Champions League in the 2009/10 season; winning 3-2 at the San Siro with Ronaldinho and Clarence Seedorf scoring for Milan and Paul Scholes and a brace from Wayne Rooney winning the match. United won 4-0 (7-2 on aggregate) in the second leg with Rooney scoring a brace and Park Ji Sung and Darren Fletcher also scoring.

United also met Milan in the semi-final of the competition at Old Trafford in the 2006/07 season, winning 3-2 in Milan with Cristiano Ronaldo and a Rooney brace and Kaka scoring a brace for the Italian side. At the San Siro, United were beaten 3-0, losing 5-3 on aggregate with Kaka, Seedorf and Alberto Gilardino all scoring. United met Milan in the 2006/07 season at the round of 16 stage, losing 2-0 on aggregate (two 1-0 defeats) with Hernan Crespo scoring in each legs. In 1969, United lost 2-1 on aggregate with Sir Bobby Charlton scoring United’s only goal at the semi-final stage. In 1958, after the Munich Air Disaster, United lost 5-2 on aggregate at the semi-final stage with Ernie Taylor and Dennis Viollet scoring.

Written by John Walker

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