Manchester United -v- Partizan Belgrade
UEFA Europa League
Old Trafford, Manchester
Thursday 7 November 2019, KO 20:00 GMT
Referee: Mattias Gestranius Assistants: Jan-Peter Aravirta; Mikko Alakare Fourth Official: Ville Nevalainen
Manchester United will be back in UEFA Europa League action on Thursday evening as they welcome Partizan Belgrade to Old Trafford. A fortnight ago, United beat Partizan in Belgrade 1-0 with Anthony Martial scoring a penalty in the 43rd minute of the match. It was United third game in the group and their second victory, drawing with AZ Alkmaar weeks before.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has changed the form of his team after the last international break, drawing 1-1 with Liverpool at Old Trafford, then beating Partizan (1-0), Norwich City (3-1) and Chelsea (2-1) before falling to a lack lustre 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth at the weekend. Solskjaer will need to get his team back to winning ways, which could also see United reach the round of 32 stage of the tournament.
It would be fair to say that United has not had a great amount of luck this season, added to injuries, which saw Martial out for eight weeks and other important players facing time on the sidelines. Selling Romelu Lukaku may not be seen as a mistake, as supporters had stated that they wanted to see the back of him, however, not replacing him in the summer transfer window will be seen as a mistake.
Form: Believe it or not, United are the in form team ahead of Thursday’s clash at the Theatre of Dreams with three wins, two defeats and one draw in their last six matches.
Manchester United: LWWWDL
Bournemouth 1-0 L, Chelsea 2-1 W, Norwich City 3-1 W, Partizan Belgrade 1-0 W, Liverpool 1-1 D, Newcastle United 1-0 L
Partizan Belgrade: WLWLLW
Vojvodina 4-0 W, Čukarički 2-1 L, Spartak Subotica 4-0 W, Manchester United 1-0 L, Mladost Lučani 1-0 L, Vodojaža 6-0 W
Top Scorers: Marcus Rashford and Umar Sadiq have seven goals each this season going into Thursday’s clash at the Theatre of Dreams in the UEFA Europa League.
Manchester United: Marcus Rashford out to increase his goal tally against Partizan Belgrade at Old Trafford or will he be rested, giving other players the chance to fire themselves onto the scoresheet?
Goals: 7 – Marcus Rashford, 4 – Anthony Martial, 3 – Daniel James, 2 – Mason Greenwood, Scott McTominay
United need to return to winning ways on Thursday night at Old Trafford after losing to Bournemouth on Saturday in what was a lack lustre defeat and something to be ashamed of. Previous to that, Solskjaer’s side had draw 1-1 at home against Liverpool then beaten Partizan Belgrade, Norwich City and Chelsea away from home.
Partizan Belgrade: Umar Sadiq has scored seven goals for Partizan Belgrade this season. Can he and his team step up against United at the Theatre of Dreams?
Goals: 7 – Umar Sadiq, 5 – Seydouba Soumah, 4 – Bibras Natcho, 3 – Lazar Marković, Filip Stevanović, Zoran Tošić, 2 – Đorđe Ivanović, 1 – Rajko Brežančić, Strahinja Pavlović, Saša Zdjelar
Partizan Belgrade started their pre-season on June, commencing the season proper in late July in the Europa League. The Serbian side sits fourth in the Super Liga, ten points from the summit, currently held by rivals Red Star Belgrade. Over the past six matches, Partizan has won 6-0 once, 4-0 twice, losing 1-0 twice also losing 2-1 once.
Team News: Injuries still causing issues for United but there are many fringe players that could be called upon in this match with United seeking to qualify for the latter stages of the Europa League.
Solskjaer still has many players on the sidelines that will not be involved in this match. The long-term absences of Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah will continue with their recovery. In addition to this, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof Axel Tuanzebe, Nemanja Matic, Angel Gomes and Paul Pogba are all still out of action. Ashley Young is available for this match but not for the Brighton match due to suspension.
It would seem likely that Young will be involved in this match instead with either Brandon Williams (left-back) or Aaron Wan-Bissaka (right-back) missing this game in favour to start on Sunday. Phil Jones could get a start in the Europa League, as he did in the reverse fixture a fortnight ago, which could also see Marcos Rojo called into the squad to face the Serbian side.
Predicted Starting XI: Solskjaer to rest some key players ahead of the clash with Brighton at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon?
With United needing to get back to winning ways, the clash with Partizan could see a number of players rested with a view of Sunday’s class with Brighton with United needing a victory to rise again in the Premier League table. I expect Anthony Martial to start and it could see Marcus Rashford rested, which is something he could do with at this time, perhaps coming on late in the game, if needed.
Match Prediction: United seeking to qualify for the round of 32 stage of the Europa League with victory over Partizan Belgrade at Old Trafford. With two wins in three matches, they seem to be the favourites.
United and Partizan Belgrade have played three times in the history of both clubs. United has won twice, losing the other match. The first match came in 1966 in the European Cup, a match played at the Partizan Stadium with ended up being a 2-0 defeat to United, despite the likes of Harry Gregg, Bill Foulkes, Paddy Crerand, Nobby Styles, George Best, and Denis Law all playing.
Just a week later, United won 1-0 at Old Trafford with Styles scoring the goal but it saw United eliminated from the competition just eight years after the Munich Air Disaster. United would be European champions two years later though, a decade after the tragedy. A fortnight ago, United beat Partizan 1-0 in Belgrade with Anthony Martial scoring a penalty.
Manchester United 2-0 Partizan Belgrade