Europa League: How Manchester United could line up for Monday's clash with Copenhagen
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A strong and fresh lineup
Manchester United square off against Copenhagen in the Europa League quarter-finals on Monday evening looking to make further progression in a competition which they won as recently as 2017.
Fresh off the back of claiming third position in the Premier League table, United confirmed their place in the last eight with a 2-1 win over LASK Linz on Wednesday night.
Having completed a 7-1 aggregate success over the Austrian side, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must now decide whether any of the players who featured at Old Trafford have done enough to retain their spot in the team.
Below, Sports Mole predicts how United could line up for their upcoming clash, which is taking place in Cologne.
|Photo: Sports Mole.|
Having taken the opportunity to make mass changes on Wednesday night, Solskjaer will almost certainly revert to his strongest team.
That should result in nine changes being made, with only Harry Maguire and Brandon Williams keeping their roles in the starting lineup.
Despite getting on the scoresheet in midweek, Jesse Lingard will drop back down to the substitutes' bench at a time when he is being linked with a move away from the club.
|Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes have already formed a potent pairing in United's midfield | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images|
Paul Pogba should get the nod over Scott McTominay in the centre of midfield, while Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will all be restored in the final third.
Solskjaer has a decision to make with regards to his goalkeeper after David de Gea's poor end to the domestic campaign.
However, having kept a clean sheet against Leicester City in his last outing, it would come as a surprise if the Spaniard lost his place to Sergio Romero.
|Sergio Romero has played second fiddle to David de Gea for much of the season, but has been a regular starter in the Europa League | Michael Regan/Getty Images|
Solskjaer faces old teammate
The Europa League will set up a reunion for Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he takes on an old friend in the quarterfinals, Associated Press reported.
When Solskjaer's team faces Copenhagen in Cologne on Monday, the opposing coach will be his old Norway teammate Stale Solbakken.
The two played at the 1998 World Cup when Norway reached the last 16 and beat Brazil along the way. The Norwegian team was bursting with talent then but hasn't qualified for a World Cup since.
“I used to play with Stale Solbakken and he’s a good friend of mine - we’ve been in touch before today. We wished each other good luck and said hope to see you in Germany. They did their job, we did our job, so on to the next one," Solskjaer said Wednesday, according to UEFA.
“Stale's teams are always well organised and difficult to play against. Very talented young players with experience. He’s done fantastic in building team after team and it’s going to be a difficult one.”
United will be the overwhelming favorite, but Copenhagen and Solbakken have sprung surprises before. During his first spell as Copenhagen coach in 2006, Solbakken led the team to a 1-0 victory over United in the Champions League group stage.
Solbakken admits Copenhagen must be perfect
against Man Utd
According to One Football, FC Copenhagen boss Stale Solbakken admits his side must 'play perfect' to beat Manchester United on Monday. The two sides will face off in a single-leg Europa League quarter-final in Germany.
Solbakken was in charge of Copenhagen when they shocked United in the Champions League 14 years ago, and the former Norway international knows what it will take to advance to the semi-finals.
"In order to do that we have to play perfect," Solbakken said, reflecting on that 1-0 win in November 2006.
|Solbakken. Photo: The Athletic.|
"We need a bit of luck. We maybe need a United that doesn't fire on all cylinders. We need to be perfect defensively. We need to take that one or two or three chances we get during a game like this."
"The chances are not great but it's an advantage for us that it's over 90 minutes and not 180 minutes. We have a good feeling. After the season, we managed to get a week break and when the players returned from that we have managed to get a couple of players able to play who have been vital to us before."
"We have a good feeling after the 3-0 victory (against Istanbul Basaksehir) but you shouldn't put your house on us tomorrow. But we will give everything."
|Photo: Lars Rønbøg, Getty Images|
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