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3 Key Battles That Will Decide Manchester United’s Europa League Game vs FC Midtjylland

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

Manchester United suffered another blow to their top four hopes as they suffered a defeat at the hands of Sunderland. A completely lacklustre second half saw them outplayed by the struggling Black Cats. With every poor performance you think Van Gaal’s time is surely up but the board seems to have other ideas. With the top four playing each other, it was the perfect opportunity for United to make up some ground and perhaps just about hang in the title race, however they wasted it.

Aside from the horrible result, Matteo Darmian went off injured with what seemed like a dislocated shoulder, which means he’ll be out for quite a while. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, we’ve learnt today that Wayne Rooney has suffered a knee injury which has ruled him out for 2 months. The skipper was finally finding some form and this is a massive blow for United especially when they’ve anyway been struggling for goals.

United travel to Denmark in the Europa League and winning it might be their only chance of qualifying for next season’s UEFA Champions League. These are 3 key battles that could decide the game against FC Midtjylland:

  1. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson vs Pione Sisto

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

Multiple injuries to full backs has seen Cameron Borthwick-Jackson get an extended run in the first team. Yet another player to come out of United’s famous academy, the 19 year old has done a good job so far. He’s looked composed and definitely not swayed by the occasion. He’ll have to deal with Pione Sisto though, the Ugandan born player. Although an attacking midfielder, he’s been deployed as a right winger. He’ll be looking to cause the young full back some problems with his pace and skill.

  1. Juan Mata vs Tim Sparv

Juan Mata has found a lot of joy playing in his favoured position of late.  Playing behind the striker, he’s been given a lot more freedom to play his game and cause problems for the opposition. He’ll be up against lifelong United fan Tim Sparv though. The Finnish International has played a lot of minutes for Midtjylland this season and will be hoping to shut Mata down. It will be interesting to see how he handles playing against the club he’s supported since he was a boy.

  1. Anthony Martial vs Kian Hansen


With Rooney being ruled out, Anthony Martial will finally get to play up top again. He’s been United’s most dangerous player and they need to get him on the ball as much as possible. He has the confidence to take players on which many of United’s players seem to be lacking. He also has the pace to run in behind the defenders. Kian Hansen will have his hands full dealing with the Frenchman. He’s very good in the air although he doesn’t normally dive into challenges. It’ll be intriguing to see how he deals with Martial.

Written by Pravir Singh

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