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Confirmed XI: Solskjaer names unchanged side to face AC Milan; De Gea, Pogba and Van de Beek on the bench

Manchester United will travel to Italy to face AC Milan at the San Siro in the round of 16 second leg of the UEFA Europa League this evening. It was a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Old Trafford last week which saw 18-year-old Amad Diallo score his first goal for the club five minutes after replacing the injured Anthony Martial. Unfortunately for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, Simon Kjaer equalised in the penultimate minute of added time with goalkeeper Dean Henderson punching the ball into the top of his own net, which must have been devastating for him. To overcome that, Henderson kept a clean sheet against West Ham United on Sunday.

With United conceding an away goal, it will be in their hands to outscore the Italian giants on Thursday with the side having the advantage at this moment in time. If United score at least twice, it will add pressure to the hosts and United will be in the driving seat, as long as they can minimise Milan’s attacking threat, which was the case at Old Trafford last week. Milan lost 1-0 to Napoli this weekend so they will be seeking to return to winning ways and restore faith by knocking United out of the competition but Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to be in Friday’s draw for the quarter-final stage of the competition in his quest for his first trophy as United manager.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, McTominay;

James, Fernandes, Rashford;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

De Gea, Grant; Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Pogba, Diallo, Matic, Van de Beek

AC Milan:

G. Donnarumma;

Kalulu, Kjaer, Tomori, Hernandez;

Krunic, Kessie, Meite;

Castillejo, Calhanoglu, Saelemaekers

Substitutes:

Tatarusanu, A Donnarumma; Dalot, Gabbia; Bennacer, Tonali, Diaz; Ibrahimovic, Tonin

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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