Two giants of European football go head-to-head on Thursday as Manchester United host AC Milan in the Europa League round-of-16 first leg (5:55pm kick-off, UK time).
United cruised past Spanish side Real Sociedad by a 4-0 aggregate scoreline in the previous round, while Milan had a much tougher time seeing off Red Star Belgrade, drawing 3-3 across the two legs and only making it through on away goals.
How to live stream Man Utd vs AC Milan online:
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Where to watch Man Utd vs AC Milan on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 1
- US: TUDNxtra, UniMas
Scoreline prediction: Man Utd 1-1 AC Milan
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Man Utd vs AC Milan build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have been terribly inconsistent in recent weeks but a shock 2-0 win over rivals and runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City at the weekend could be just the boost they need heading into this marquee Europa League clash. The Red Devils are second in the Premier League table and, for now, safe inside the top four spots. With that in mind, Solskjaer will be starting to dream of securing his first trophy as Manchester United manager.
But getting past Milan will be no small task. Sure, Stefano Pioli’s side have surrendered top spot in Serie A, but they’re still a force to be reckoned with and come into this match on a four-game unbeaten streak across all competitions, including a valuable 2-1 win over Roma. Milan head to Manchester with a number of injuries to key players but in the likes of Franck Kessie and Rafael Leao, still have plenty of talent capable of hurting United.
- Man Utd (vs Man City): Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw*; McTominay, Fred; James, Fernandes, Rashford*; Martial.
- AC Milan (vs Verona): Donnarumma; Calabria, Tomori, Romagnoli, Dalot; Meite, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Krunic, Castillejo; Leao.
Marcus Rashford picked up an ankle injury during the win over Man City and joins Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Juan Mata, David de Gea and Phil Jones on the sidelines. Luke Shaw also struggled to complete 90 minutes at the weekend and is unlikely to be risked here. Edinson Cavani is a major doubt for the Red Devils.
Milan have confirmed Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be unable to face his former club, while fellow forwards Mario Mandzukic and Ante Rebic are also out. They join Ismael Bennacer, Hakan Calhanoglu, Daniele Bonera and Theo Hernandez on the treatment table.
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Players to watch:
With Rashford joining the likes of Cavani and Pogba on the sidelines, even more responsibility will be placed upon Anthony Martial to produce the goods in the final third for United. The Frenchman put in a wonderful performance against City at the weekend, completing a match-high three dribbles, creating one chance and completing 95% of his passes as he pulled the opposition defence open and allowed those around him to flourish.
With that said, Martial hasn’t found the net since scoring a brace in the memorable 9-0 win over Southampton in a run spanning seven appearances. Solskjaer needs the forward to end that drought, especially given the players missing from his squad this Thursday.
The man most likely to be tasked with stopping Martial on Thursday is England international Fikayo Tomori. The 23-year-old has been in fine form for Milan since joining on loan from Chelsea in January and has so far averaged 3.3 clearances, 2.6 aerial duels won and 1.4 shots blocked per 90 minutes in Serie A, the latter being a team-high. So impressive has Tomori been that Milan legend and technical director Paolo Maldini has hinted the club may negotiate a permanent move come the end of the season.
“It’s a good feeling and to hear something like this obviously gives me confidence, but I just want to carry on doing what I’m doing that’s got me to this stage and go even further,” Tomori said of Maldini’s praise.
“I’m not really focused too much on what can happen in the future, it’s just more about me playing well for the team and doing what I can for myself right now and helping the team as much as possible. Then what happens in the future will happen.
“But obviously it’s very nice to hear that from one of, if not the greatest defenders to have played the game.”
Can Tomori make his Premier League experience count here?
Recent form (all competitions):
- Man Utd: WDDDW
- AC Milan: WDWDL
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