Last updated 1 month ago | By Robert Abong'o
Man United jetted to Portugal on Sunday, August 9 where they are set to face FC Copenhagen in the Europa League quarter-finals.
The match will take place on Monday, August 10 at the RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne.
This year’s tournament format is slightly different, with teams in the last eight set to play one-legged fixtures as part of UEFA’s summer calendar, brought about by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Man United fielded a rather ‘weak’ side against LASK Linz in their Last-16 second leg fixture at Old Trafford but will be expected to come out strong against Copenhagen, who thrashed Turkey’s Istanbul Basaksehir 3-0 in their last tie.
Copenhagen head coach Stale Solbakken hailed Solskjaer’s management skills, saying the Man United boss will slowly bring back the glory days to Old Trafford.
“I think his biggest strength is that he's very calm. He knows which direction he wants to go in. He was able to look to the long-term, even when results and performances weren't up to the standard expected at United, and the club stood by him. With one or two more additions to the squad, and one more pre-season with the team, they will gradually close the gap to their neighbours. We've been texting each other this week. He texted me before our game on Wednesday and straight after. We're not close friends but we're good friends, and of course we were together for a long period with Norway. We did our coaching badges together in Copenhagen, so we have a good relationship,” he said.
Solbakken told the Mirror everything had to go his team’s way if they stand any chance against Man United.
“Everything has to go for us and against United if we're to stand any chance. The two teams under the most pressure to win the Europa League are United and Inter Milan. Both have already qualified for the Champions League, but haven't won a trophy and they're huge clubs who will see this as a big opportunity to do that,” Solbakken added.
PREDICTED MAN UNITED LINE UP
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Sergio Romero, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelöf, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Jesse Lingard, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial.
Bench: David De Gea, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Eric Bailly, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Mason Greenwood, Odion Jude Ighalo.
SOLSKJAER COMMENTS ON POSSIBILITY OF WINNING EUROPA LEAGUE
“I am ambitious - and one of my dreams is to lift the trophy as a manager for this club. That would be the proudest moment of my life. “I owe my football career to this club so, to lift a trophy as a manager, would be the biggest achievement in my career.
“Winning trophies makes you think ‘I want more of this. It also means more dedication and more focus because it makes you think ‘this is what I wanted. Some players may rest on their laurels once they have won something, but looking at this group it would mean what we’re doing now is working. It’s all in their hands. They know they’re at Man United and know we have the resources to build.
“We put a plan together as a club 18 months ago when I sat down with Ed Woodward and it wasn’t going to be a quick fix. We want to build. We have been to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup and the FA Cup and the next step is to get past that.
“That would be another step forward for this team.”