Manchester United’s Europa League journey continues on Thursday as they travel to Austria to face LASK.
The Red Devils saw off Club Brugge fairly easily in the round-of-32, winning 6-1 on aggregate despite drawing the first leg 1-1.
Their reward is a tie against Austrian side LASK, who are in the last-16 of the Europa League for the first time in their history. LASK beat Man Utd’s group stage opponents AZ Alkmaar in the last round.
There had been some fears whether the game would go ahead due to the Coronavirus outbreak but the Austrian health minister has confirmed no matches will be cancelled. However, this match will take place behind closed doors.
OFFICIAL: LASK vs. Man Utd in the Europa League will now be played behind closed doors. pic.twitter.com/xJUkdRXFuw
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 10, 2020
With the game going ahead, read on for our preview, predictions, line-ups and TV coverage info.
When is LASK vs Man Utd and where can I watch live?
Competition: Europa League
Venue: Linzer Stadion
Date: Thursday, 12 February 2020
Kick-off: 5:55 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 2 HD
Live stream & online options: UK audiences with a BT Sport subscription can stream LASK vs Man Utd live via the BT Sport app.
08 March 2020: Mattersburg 0-1 LASK (Austrian Bundesliga)
05 March 2020: Red Bull Salzburg 1-0 LASK (OFB-Cup)
01 March 2020: LASK 5-1 Hartberg (Austrian Bundesliga)
27 February 2020: LASK 2-0 AZ Alkmaar (Europa League)
23 February 2020: LASK 4-1 St Polten (Austrian Bundesliga)
08 March 2020: Man Utd 2-0 Man City (Premier League)
05 March 2020: Derby 0-3 Man Utd (FA Cup)
01 March 2020: Everton 1-1 Man Utd (Premier League)
27 February 2020: Man Utd 5-0 Club Brugge (Europa League)
23 February 2020: Man Utd 3-0 Watford (Premier League)
Ones to watch
LASK: Marko Raguz
LASK have been fairly good in front of goal in the Europa League this season, scoring 14 in their eight matches so far. Of the teams left in the competition, just three have scored more than them.
At the heart of their goalscoring has been 21-year-old forward Marko Raguz, LASK’s topscorer in the Europa League with five goals in just 367 minutes of action. This is an upturn in his goalscoring record domestically, where he has managed four goals in 893 minutes.
Whether it’s the increased playing time, in starts, or the bigger occasion, Raguz has found form in the Europa League and will need that if LASK are to breach Man Utd’s defence this week.
Key stat: Marko Raguz has scored over a third of LASK’s goals in the Europa League this season (5/14).
Man Utd: Odion Ighalo
Bruno Fernandes has been stealing the headlines for Man Utd in recent weeks and rightly so, but another January signing could make an impact against LASK.
Odion Ighalo was handed his first start for Man Utd in their last-32 second leg win over Club Brugge, in which he scored. His second start also ended with Ighalo finding the net, this time twice in Man Utd’s 3-0 FA Cup win over Derby County.
Having not started in the Premier League yet, Ighalo will be expected to feature heavily against LASK, so don’t count against him adding to his Man Utd tally.
Key stat: Odion Ighalo has scored three goals in seven appearances for Manchester United this season.
— LASK English🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@LASK_eng) March 12, 2020
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— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 12, 2020
On paper, Man Utd will be heavy favourites to reach the quarter-finals but they will be given a tough game in Austria — even if there are no fans to influence the home side.
LASK’s defence has been pretty good in the Europa League this season, conceding just five goals — only three teams have let in fewer among those in from the group stage.
But Man Utd’s quality should see them come out on top and leave Austria with a vital away win ahead of next week’s second leg at Old Trafford.