|Courtesy of bing.com images|
Manchester United are travelling to face AZ Alkmaar in their Europa League Group L encounter on Thursday the 3rd of October 2019. Manchester had a tough encounter with fellow Premier League Europa qualifiers Arsenal in a 1-1 result which would have left Solskjaers team feeling more pressure building with a string of disappointing results. Their focus now turns to AZ Alkmaar who are currently lying third in the Netherlands Eredivisie.
The ADO Den Haag Stadium in The Hague is the venue as AZ Alkmaar, whose own ground is unavailable, play host to Manchester United in the English club’s first encounter with Dutch opposition since they defeated Ajax 2-0 in the 2016/17 final. AZ collected a point from their opening Group L fixture, a 2-2 draw at Partizan in which both teams held the lead. Manchester United were able to beat FC Astana 1-0 at Old Trafford thanks to a Mason Greenwood 73rd minute winner. This will be the first competitive meeting between AZ Alkmaar and Manchester United. AZ have won just two of their 12 matches against English opposition in European competition (D4 L6), however each of those victories have come on home soil – beating Ipswich 4-2 in 1980-81 UEFA Cup final and most recently beating Newcastle 2-0 in the last 16 of the 2006-07 UEFA Cup. AZ have only won one of their previous six home games in the Europa League (D1 L4), conceding at least two goals in four of those. Manchester United are unbeaten in their last five Europa League away games (W3 D2) after losing five in a row prior to this run. Marcus Rashford has scored in two of his last three away games in European competition for Manchester United (v Valencia in December 2018 and Paris Saint Germain in March 2019), as many as he had in his previous 13 combined.
Team selection for Manchester United will be critical as notable absentees from the 21 man squad are Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan Bissaka all suffering injuries will not be making the trip to the Netherlands. Tahith Chong will be returning to his homeland as well as James Garner has been named amongst the travelling squad. Solskjaer has hinted his team selection would be a blend of experience and youth. It is a must win game to boost morale and confidence ahead of Premiership opposition Newcastle fixture on Sunday. It is speculated Daniel James would make his Europa League debut.
The travelling squad is,as follows: De Gea, Romero, Grant, Dalot, Lindelöf, Maguire, Tuanzebe, Rojo, Williams, McTominay, Matic, Fred, Garner, Andreas, Mata, Lingard, Gomes, James, Chong, Rashford and Greenwood.
Predicted Score: 1-3 to United