Manchester United’s domestic troubles continue, but they will qualify for the Europa League’s knockout stages if they win against Partizan Belgrade tonight and there will be great disappointment if they don’t end up with three points this evening.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first full season has been a tale of one step forward, two steps back, and a dismal display against Bournemouth at the weekend leaves United 10 points off the top four, just after they’d strung together three away wins – including an impressive 2-1 win Chelsea in the EFL Cup – for the first time this season.
Solskjaer simply has to get things right in the Premier League and the visit of Brighton this weekend is surely going to be the top priority over tonight. That hasn’t stopped United in the Europa League so far, and it means that we’re likely to see a very similar side to the one that started the reverse fixture in Serbia.
That means starts for midfielder James Garner, defender Brandon Williams, and perhaps a starting place for Mason Greenwood rather than a spot on the bench. It’s also likely there’ll be a place in the starting XI for Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and maybe Anthony Martial, whose penalty decided the reverse fixture.
Man Utd v Partizan Belgrade
UEFA Europa League Group Stage
20:00 BT Sport 2 HD / BT Sport Ultimate
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches, since 2000)
OCT 2019 EUROPA LEAGUE Partizan 0-1 Manchester United
Partizan have won two home games since losing to United and then fell to a 2-1 defeat at Cukaricki domestically. For comparison, they are 10 points behind the Red Star Belgrade side beaten 5-0 away and 4-0 at home by Tottenham.
United’s games this season haven’t featured many goals – 12 of their 16 games this season have seen under 2.5 goals – and their Europa League games have been just as tight, with a pair of 1-0 wins against Astana and Partzian either side of a 0-0 draw with AZ Alkmaar.
The best way to play this game might be to dutch a low scoring United win. United have won 2 Europa League group games 1-0, and backing the 1 and 2-0 correct scores might be be rewarded.
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