LASK -v- Manchester United
UEFA Europa League
Linzer Stadion, Linz, Austria
Thursday 12 March 2020, KO 17:55 GMT
Referee: Artur Dias Assistants: Rui Tavares, Paulo Soares Fourth Official: Hugo Miguel
VAR: Tiago Martins Assistant VAR: Luis Godinho
Manchester United will return to UEFA Europa League action on Thursday evening when they face LASK in Linz, Austria at the Linzer Stadion. The match will be played behind closed doors because of the fears surrounding Coronavirus and the spread which has seen the whole of Italy placed on lockdown in the past 24 hours. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to bet a foot into the quarter finals of the competition.
United are on a ten match unbeaten run, scoring 24 goals, conceding two and keeping eight clean sheets. In the Europa League, United are on a good run, playing eight times this season, winning five times, drawing twice and losing once, scoring 16 goals, conceding three and keeping six clean sheets. This sort of form could see United progress into the quarter finals of the competition this season.
LASK, however, also have a good run of form in the competition, playing eight times, winning fives, drawing twice and losing once, scoring 14 goals, conceding five and keeping four clean sheets. United have scored more goals and conceded fewer, which could set them aside from the Austrian team in this round of matches. Granted, they will be seeking to score away from home, sealing the tie at the Theatre of Dreams.
Form: United unbeaten in their last ten matches, winning seven and drawing three times. In the last six matches, United have won four and draw twice. LASK has won four, drawn once and lost once.
Manchester United: WWDWWD
Manchester City 2-0 W, Derby County 3-0 W, Everton 1-1 D, Club Brugge 5-0 W, Watford 3-0 W, Club Brugge 1-1 D
Mattersburg 1-0 W, Red Bull Salzburg 1-0 L, Hartberg 5-1 W, AZ Alkmaar 2-0 W, St Pölten 4-1 W, AZ Alkmaar 1-1 D
Top Scorers: United have scored 24 goals, conceding twice in their ten-match unbeaten run which has seen the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo score three goals each since signing the the club.
Manchester United Goals: 19 – Marcus Rashford, 16 – Anthony Martial, 11 – Mason Greenwood, 5 – Scott McTominay, 3 – Bruno Fernandes, Odion Ighalo, Daniel James, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young
United are in great form at this present time; having a ten match unbeaten run which has seen them win seven matches and draw three, scoring 24 goals and conceding just twice. Solskjaer will be seeking to get his team into the quarter final stage of the competition this season as they seek to keep both options of a Champions League place next season. United have a capable team with all players playing for the badge which is a great thing to see right now.
LASK Goals: 9 – Joao Klauss, 5 – Dominik Frieser, Thomas Goiginger, Samuel Tetteh, 4 – Marko Raguz, Reinhold Ranftl, 3 – Peter Michorl, 2 – Husein Balic, Petar Fiipović, James Holland, Gernot Trauner, 1 – Stefan Haudum, Valentino Müller, Marvin Potzmann, Christian Ramsebner, Philipp Wiesinger, Markus Wostry
LASK could be a problem for United based on the fact they have done well in the Europa League this season and have won, draw and lost the same number of matches as United in the competition this season. Bruno Fernandes played against the Austrian side back in October, scoring once goal in the 2-1 victory to the Portuguese side. Facing them again may be similar for the Portuguese midfielder who could inspire his new side to beat them again this season.
Team News: Rashford, Pogba, Grant and Fosu-Mensah to miss Austrian leg of Europa League match with LASK likely to have five players out of Thursday’s match?
United could be without four players for the trip to Austria on Thursday evening with Marcus Rashford (back), Paul Pogba (ankle), Lee Grant (wrist), and Tim Fosu-Mensah (lacking match fitness). Recently, United have been boosted by the arrival of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo and the return of Scott McTominay and Eric Bailly from injury, which have all come at the right time for Solskjaer’s side.
LASK will be without Thomas Goiginger (knee), Marvin Potzmann (knee), Petar Filipović (suspended), Philipp Wiesinger (suspended) whereas Husein Balic (muscular) is a doubt for the match. This may not be good news for the Austrian side, who are looking to have a strong game against United to keep them in with a chance of reaching the quarter finals of the competition this season, which may not happen.
Predicted Starting XI: Greenwood, Ighalo and Fernandes leading the attack in Austria with McTominay, Matic and Fred controlling the midfield?
Solskjaer may take the option to weaken this squad against LASK on Thursday, much like he did against Club Brugge last month seeing that United will face a big match against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League. However, he could field a number of his players, keeping them fit ahead of this match, utilising his substitutes to keep the freshness in the squad for Sunday.
Match Prediction: United and LASK have never played each other before with the Austrian side not even playing another English club. However, United have faced Austrian clubs eight times; winning seven and drawing once.
United and LASK have never met before with the Austrian side not even playing another English team in European competition. United have played Austrian competition eight times in Europe, winning seven times and drawing once – the most recent matches were played in the 2000/01 season against Sturm Graz at a time where there was a second group stage in the elite European competition – the UEFA Champions League.
LASK started the season in the Champions League, albeit the third round of the qualification stage beating Basel 5-2 on aggregate but falling short with Club Brugge, losing 3-1 on aggregate, entering the Europa League. In the group stages, LASK topped the group winning all three home games in a group containing Sporting CP, PSV Eindhoven and Rosenborg. In the round of 32, LASK beat AZ Alkmaar 3-1 on aggregate.
LASK 0-2 Manchester United