Astana vs Man Utd preview

Follow the Europa League clash with our live blog on the Sky Sports website and app

Last Updated: 27/11/19 3:17pm

Manchester United youngster Ethan Laird will start against Astana this week
Manchester United youngster Ethan Laird will start against Astana this week

Team news, stats and prediction as Manchester United take on Astana in the Europa League.

Team news

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed academy products Di’Shon Bernard, Ethan Laird and Dylan Levitt will start on Thursday.

Solskjaer has included just four senior players – Lee Grant, Axel Tuanzebe, Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard – in his squad for the match in Kazakhstan, with Manchester United’s place in the knockout stages of the competition already secured.

Solskjaer has also suggested 19-year-old defender Max Taylor will make his debut for United after recovering from testicular cancer.

State of play

Manchester United are already through to the knockout stages and will clinch top spot if they win and AZ Alkmaar do not. Astana are out of contention after losing all four matches.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Sheffield United’s 3-3 draw with Manchester United in the Premier League
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Sheffield United’s 3-3 draw with Manchester United in the Premier League

Opta stats

  • Manchester United’s 1-0 win against Astana on MD1 was the first ever meeting between an English side and a Kazakh side in all European competition.
  • United are yet to concede a goal in the Europa League this season – no side has ever kept a clean sheet in each of their opening five group stage games in a campaign in the competition.
  • Astana have lost their last six Europa League games by an aggregate score of 1-17. Only Dudelange (15) have conceded more goals in this season’s competition than Astana (14).
  • Manchester United have managed just one shot on target across their two away games in the Europa League this season, with that effort coming from the penalty spot against FK Partizan.
  • 18-year-old Mason Greenwood has been involved in 60 per cent of Manchester United’s five goals in the Europa League this season (two goals, one assist).

Charlie Nicholas’ prediction

Lee Grant will make only his second appearance in goal for Manchester United since joining from Stoke in 2018
Lee Grant will make only his second appearance in goal for Manchester United since joining from Stoke in 2018

Everyone is talking about managers under pressure. On Saturday, when the football had finished, we said Marco Silva could be out and Manuel Pellegrini and Unai Emery could soon follow.

A 10-minute performance has kept Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hanging by a thread. Can he get any consistency from the youngsters? What is his best partnership in defence? I don’t know. Phil Jones isn’t the answer.

Harry Maguire has struggled and they do not look a team at the moment. Even with the energy at the moment, they missed the presence of Scott McTominay. These grounds are awkward to get results from but this will be another one of those nights for Manchester United.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (17/2 with Sky Bet)

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Source : Sky Sports