Manchester United vs AC Milan Preview

Manchester United vs AC Milan Preview

Two giants of their respective leagues and across Europe will clash on Thursday evening as Manchester United take on AC Milan. Both teams are looking to add silverware this season as they sit behind their local rivals in the league. United and Milan are more use to going against each other in Europe’s elite competition of the Champions League.

The two powerhouses meet in the last 16 of the Europa League as we both look to restore our former glories. This will be the first meeting in 11 years and it will be the first time ever in Europe’s second-tier competition. We share a great history with each other having drawn against one another five times previously in either the European Cup or the knockout stages of the Champions League.

United is the only team left in the competition to have won it having previously tasted success back in 2017 when they beat Ajax 2-1 in the final. The Red Devils arrive into this game after beating our local rivals Manchester City 2-0 in the league to end their 21-game winning run. Though we still remain 11 points off the league leaders. 

We came into the last 16 of the Europa League having conquered Real Sociedad 4-0 in the previous round. The tie had been wrapped up in the first leg with a preceding 0-0 draw in the second leg. AC Milan will prove a much bigger test for us. If we are to go on to win this competition, then we have to beat the best teams to do it.

United is now unbeaten in 17 consecutive games going back to the end of January. We are still buzzing after our derby day win on Sunday and can take confidence going into this heavyweight match. Our record against AC Milan is quite good having won the previous four out of five games at Old Trafford.

Opposition Preview

AC Milan comes to Old Trafford off the back of some inconsistent form, which is their first downturn since the return of Serie A after lockdown. A number of injuries have contributed to this and it is highlighted the lack of squad depth in the Milan side. They have won the last two out of seven in all competitions. In amongst those games, they lost to bitter rivals Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia and were overtaken by them in Serie A.

In their last two away games, Milan has achieved wins against both Roma and Verona. One particular player who will not be featuring is former United number 9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who spent two years with us helping to achieve three trophies in that time. The Swedish Lion misses the game through injury.

The Rossoneri came through another former giant of the European game in the previous round, having knocked out Red Star Belgrade. They were not convincing over the two legs as they had to rely on an own goal, two penalties, and the away goals rules to progress.

Manchester United vs AC Milan Match Details

Teams: Manchester United vs AC Milan

Date: March 11th, 2020 (Thursday)

KO Time: 17:55 GMT

Competition: UEFA Europa League

Stadium: Old Trafford

Referee: Slavko Vinčić

Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Stefano Pioli

Manchester United Team News

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has confirmed that Marcus Rashford will not feature against AC Milan after limping out in the game against Manchester City. Ole said in his pre-match conference that “I don’t think he’ll be available for tomorrow. He’s still getting treatment but he didn’t join in the training today.” Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba, and Donny Van De Beek remain sidelined. Dean Henderson will get another opportunity to impress in goal with David De Gea back in Spain following the birth of his child. 

Manchester United vs AC Milan Pre-Match Press Conference

During the pre-match press conference, Ole was asked about what sort of challenge he is expecting from AC Milan. He said, “You look the tie, Man United v AC Milan, that sounds Champions League-like. I have had the ultimate adoration for AC Milan for many years. They have traditions and history, absolute quality, a class act. They have rebuilt again and are really challenging at the top and it’s nice to see them up there.

Ole was also about the team’s improvement and whether the next stage is a trophy. He said, “Of course, I feel also that it can be a catalyst to something bigger and better. We need to get there at some point. When you’re in the Europa League you want to go as far as you can in it and go all the way. Last season, the defeat in the semis was a bitter pill to swallow.”

Harry Maguire joined Ole in the press conference and was asked how well do you feel the defence are doing. He said, “As a defensive unit we’ve really progressed throughout the year. We started the season with a difficult spell, [and it was] not the best pre-season we had together and we didn’t manage to work on things. It was tough in regards to the number of games that we played; we didn’t get a break.

We conceded far too many goals for our liking, considering last year we kept a lot of clean sheets. I think everyone in the backline, as individuals… I feel if my left-back is playing well then generally I feel I am playing well. If you look at individuals at the moment, everyone is playing well. The confidence is improving and there are still lots of areas we can improve at.

AC Milan Team News

For our opponents, they are likely to rotate the squad around again having done so far in the previous rounds. Whilst Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out, they will have to do without Ismael Bennacer who is injured. Doubts remain over whether the likes Hakan Calhanoglu, Ante Rebic, and Theo Hernandez will feature.

Stefano Pioli may opt to rest one of the two central defenders in Simon Kjaer and Alessandro Romagnoli. Fikayo Tomori who is on loan from Chelsea is likely to replace one of them. Diogo Dalot who is on loan at Milan for the season could start against United. He would fill in at left-back for Theo Hernández. The attacking line is set to be led by Rafael Leao who has featured throughout the European games given the absence of Ibrahimovic.

Form Guide

Manchester United Europa League form: WD

Manchester United form (all competitions): WWDDDW

AC Milan Europa League form: LDWWDD

AC Milan form (all competitions): DLDWDW

Interesting Facts

  • This will be the 11th meeting between Manchester United and AC Milan in European competition, with all 10 previous meetings coming in the European Cup/Champions League. (source: Opta)
  • In their last meeting in March 2010, Manchester United won 4-0 against AC Milan – it is the Italians’ joint-heaviest defeat in major UEFA European competition (excluding Super Cups). (source: Opta)
  • Despite playing in six UEFA Champions League group stage matches this season, Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes is the top scorer in the UEFA Europa League since the start of last season, with 10 goals in 12 appearances at an average of 94 minutes per goal. (source: Opta)
  • If Manchester United beat AC Milan over the two legs, it will keep Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 100% record in reaching Cup Quarter Finals as Manchester United boss. Consistency!
  • Eric Bailly could make his 100th United appearance against AC Milan. 38 of Bailly’s matches in Red came in his first season! He has never made it past 18 appearances since his debut season.
  • Anthony Martial is set to make his 50th appearance in Europe for Manchester United.

Manchester United vs AC Milan Predicted Lineup

Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Greenwood, Fernandes, James, and Cavani.


United come into this match with much-renewed confidence after our derby day win against Manchester City. We are more than capable of stopping this Milan side that has suffered from injuries and inconsistent form. The key will be to use our counter-attacking pace to open up their defence.

Predicted Score

Manchester United 1-0 AC Milan

Author: Andrew Wall

My name is Andrew and I have been a Manchester United fan my whole life. I have a season ticket in the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand attending all our home games. My favourite United player of all time is Eric Cantona. I want to share through this blog my thoughts and opinions on Manchester United. You can find me on Twitter: @andrew_wall and Instagram: andrewcwall

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