MX23RW : Tuesday, September 29 22:23:00| >> :60:152:152:
Aug 5, 2020 at 8pm UK at Old Trafford
Man UtdManchester United
2-1
LASKLASK Linz
Lingard (57'), Martial (88')
McTominay (39')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Wiesinger (55')
Michorl (35')

Preview: Manchester United vs. LASK Linz - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Europa League last-16 second leg between Manchester United and LASK Linz, including team news and predicted lineups.

Manchester United resume their quest for Europa League glory on Wednesday evening with what should be a routine home match against LASK Linz in the last 16.

The Red Devils lead 5-0 from March's first leg and, barring a six-goal collapse at Old Trafford in midweek, they can look forward to the quarter-finals.


Match preview

Manchester United players celebrate Bruno Fernandes's goal against Leicester City in the Premier League on July 26, 2020© Reuters

The aim for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer upon returning from a three-month break in June was clear: Qualify for next season's Champions League and win some silverware.

The first of those targets has been ticked off thanks to United's third-placed finish in the Premier League, sealed with a 2-0 win at Leicester City on the final day.

United have turned their season around since the turn of the year, coinciding with the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, although they exited the FA Cup at the hands of Chelsea.

However, going all the way in the Europa League for the second time in three years would make this a successful first full campaign in charge for Solskjaer.

The Red Devils can be forgiven for already looking ahead to the quarter-finals, where one of Istanbul Basaksehir or Copenhagen await.

That is thanks to the five-goal lead they opened up on Austrian side LASK in the first leg, with five different players registering at the Linzer Stadion nearly five months ago.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pictured on July 22, 2020© Reuters

If it is motivation United are after, their biggest aggregate victory in a two-legged knockout tie was 12-0 against Anderlecht in the 1956-57 European Cup first round.

Backing United to break that record would be disrespectful to LASK, but they really were poor in the first leg and they have been through a torrid time of things since.

LASK entered the coronavirus shutdown at the top of the Austrian Bundesliga, though they were docked 12 points for breaking coronavirus-related safety rules in practice sessions.

The Black-Whites won just two of their 10 league games upon returning to action in June, losing the last three of those to finish in fourth, so it is fair to say that their form has not improved.

In fact, head coach Valerien Ismael was recently sacked and new boss Dominik Thalhammer's first competitive game in charge will come at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

LASK conceded as many goals in the first leg as they had done in their first eight matches in this season's competition, and the scoreline down in midweek will be their main aim.

Manchester United's Europa League form: WLWDWW
Manchester United's form (all competitions): WDWLDW

LASK Linz's Europa League form: WWWDWL
LASK Linz's form (all competitions): WWWLLL


Team News

Manchester United's Odion Ighalo celebrates scoring their first goal on March 12, 2020© Reuters

United have had a 10-day break between the Leicester match and this one, but Solskjaer is unlikely to field anything close to his strongest possible XI on Wednesday.

The likes of Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James, Fred and Scott McTominay are all pushing for recalls, having largely been overlooked for selection since June's restart.

Mason Greenwood has scored more Europa League goals than any other United player this season, netting five of his eight shots on target, but he is another who is likely to be rested.

Instead, Odion Ighalo - who scored the opening goal in the first leg - should get the nod through the middle, with fellow fringe players James and Lingard either side.

As for LASK, Thalhammer will know that a vast improvement is needed from March and he is expected to make some changes for his first competitive game in charge.

The Black-Whites went down 3-0 to Red Bull Salzburg in their last Bundesliga game and it may be a case of sticking with a similar XI for this trip to Old Trafford.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Romero; Dalot, Bailly, Lindelof, Williams; McTominay, Fred; James, Mata, Lingard; Ighalo

LASK Linz possible starting lineup:
Schlager; Wiesinger, Trauner, Andrade; Ranftl, Holland, Michorl, Renner; Tetteh, Frieser; Klauss


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Manchester United 3-0 LASK Linz (8-0 on aggregate)

United have played more games against Austrian sides without defeat in all European competitions than they have against teams from any other nation, scoring 22 goals and conceding just one. Five of those goals came in a one-sided first leg and, even accounting for squad rotation, we can only see them adding to their aggregate lead.


ID:408912:

Who will qualify for the Europa League quarter-finals - Manchester United or LASK Linz?

Manchester United
LASK Linz
Manchester United
90.5%
LASK Linz
9.5%
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