Manchester United head to Austria in the rudest of form for this Europa quarterfinal clash with Lask, and their modest opposition could find this one a tad difficult hurdle to scale.
Lask Linz v Manchester United – Europa League
Venue: Linzer Stadion
Kick Off: 17:55
TV Channel: BT Sport
Fresh off claiming bragging rights in the Manchester derby last Sunday, United will be confident of putting their Austrian opponents to the sword here and thus, inch closer to claiming the crown yet again after triumphing in 2017.
The Red Devils stood little chance before the game last weekend despite playing at home and were very much the betting outsiders, but Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side set about upsetting the odds. First, Anthony Martial sent a drive squirming in underneath a hesitant Ederson Moraes, and the Brazilian will yet bear the brunt of Scott McTominay’s stoppage time effort.
Though they have won just one of four away games in this competition this season, the Red Devils kept five clean sheets in winning Group L, and have only conceded two goals in their last ten matches in all competitions — a pointer to having struck together an efficient defensive unit.
It will be no easy feat against their underdog rivals though. Lask are unbeaten in nine of their last eight competitive games, winning six times in the course of that run with the only significant blot being the 1-0 loss to Salzburg in the OFB Stiegl Cup.
So far, they still have a 100 per cent record at home in this competition this term and have even thrashed PSV Eindovhen 4-1, scored three against Sporting and then brushed aside AZ Alkmaar 2-0 here.
Both sides will have none of their fans cheering them on from the stands in Linz following the latest pronouncement that the game will be played behind closed doors due to concerns around coronavirus, so could the development play on the players minds and thus influence the betting?
Lask will be without two of their regular centre-backs on Thursday. Petar Filipovic is banned due to an accumulation of bookings in the competition while Philipp Wiesinger is suspended after his red card against AZ last time.
The duo of Marvin Potzmann and Husein Balic are sidelined with injuries.
Manchester United are without Paul
Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Lee Grant for Thursday’s trip to Austria.
Head to Head:
Lask Linz Wins – 0
Draws – 0
Manchester United Wins – 0
This will mark the first ever competitive meeting between these two sides.
There have been a first half penalty scored (either way) in each of Lask’s last three Europa League home games.
Manchester United are unbeaten in 18 of their last 19 Europa League games.
Lask Linz Last 5: W W W L W
Manchester United Last 5: W W D W W
There can be a few interesting markets to choose from this game between two stong outfits, and prominent amongst them should be the Under 2.5 goals market (13/20). Lask will be happy to sit deep and frustrate their opposition who will particularly not take risks judging by the fact they will be playing at home in the return fixture. And with an important league clash coming up at Tottenham three days after this game, Solksjaer might be forced to name an understrength squad for this one with an eye on the Spurs game. Expect the two teams to bide their time then, and very little goals to be on show.
A ‘NO’ for both teams to score is prized 17/20, and is another plausible option to choose should we get to see a rather slow paced game here.