LASK Face Mission Impossible at Old Trafford
Last updated: August 4, 2020 by Leon Marshal
|Kick-off:||Weds, 5th August 20:15|
|Last Meeting:||LASK 0 – 5 Man United|
Manchester United welcome LASK to Old Trafford in the Round of 16 clash of the Europa League. The Austrian outfit has the unenviable task of overturning a five-goal deficit from the first leg. The Red Devils are favourites in the competition, and it is United’s last chance of silverware this season.
Manchester United are in their best form of the season. They have been so exceptionally good that if the league started during the restart, they would be second, level on points with Manchester City. Their impressive 19 games unbeaten run ended however when they were thrashed 3 – 1 in the FA Cup semi-final by Chelsea to make it an all London final in the League Cup.
They say one man doesn’t make a team, but It’s still amazing how a single signing can change the direction of a team. Bruno Fernandez has been anointed the new messiah for the Red Devils, scoring ten goals in 20 appearances and forming a formidable partnership with Paul Pogba.
The future looks promising with the emergence of Mason Greenwood, who has become a regular starter. The 18-year-old has 17 goals in his first top-flight season, managing 10 in the league, becoming the first teenager to do so since Romelu Lukaku in 2013-14. Greenwood’s impact has been so great that the club may re-think a mega-money approach for Jadon Sancho. The Red Devils came from behind to earn a hard-fought 1 – 1 draw against West Ham to further intensify the race for Champions League qualification. They conceded at the stroke of half time through a Michail Antonio penalty after Pogba handled the ball.
In the final game of the season, United triumphed in the ‘winner takes all’ clash with Leicester. Bruno Fernandez once again was lethal from the spot in the 71st minute after Anthony Martial hit the floor under challenges from Wes Morgan and Jonny Evans. A rare goal from Jesse Lingard sealed the vital three points in the 98th minute, meaning United finished third behind Liverpool and Manchester City and will play Champions League next season.
LASK stands for Linzer Athletik-Sport Klub is an Austrian football club based in the capital Linz. The Austrian Football Bundesliga has a growing reputation within Europe, producing exciting sides such as Red Bull Salzburg. Salzburg is famous for producing great talents such as Erling Haaland and Takum Minamino.
The Austrian outfit won the Europa League group D winning four, drawing and losing once. They then beat AZ Alkmaar in the Round of 32 to set a date with the Red Devils. Goals from Odion Ighalo, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira was a rude awakening for LASK who now face impossible mission at Manchester’s Old Trafford. Their biggest regret from the first leg will be conceding two goals in injury time after the 90 was up. Keeper Alexander Schlager should have done better, first was Greenwood near-post strike and soon after, Pereira’s distant effort that he managed a touch of but couldn’t keep out.
This game seems to be the end of the adventure for LASK, despite looking like a very promising side with players such as Marko Raguz. The 22-year-old Austrian striker will be the man they look to as he has made his mark in the competition with five goals. Things could get interesting if they manage to score an early goal. The club was recently fined €75,000 and docked 6 points for failing to observe social distance protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. A huge blow to their European qualification hopes as it moved them down to second in the league.
Manchester United’s impressive run of 19 games unbeaten run ended in their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea, they returned to winning ways against Leicester.
The Red Devils have already qualified for next seasons Champions League due to finishing third in the league.
LASK have a huge deficit of five goals to recover from at Old Trafford.
The Austrian outfit has some good players on display including 22-year old Marco Raguz who is their top scorer in the Europa League with five goals.
|Man United (4-3-3):||De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindeloef, Maguire, Shaw, Fernandez, Pereira, Matic, James, Rashford, Ighalo|
|Subs:||Romero, Martial, Tuanzebe, Fred, Rojo, Mata, Greenwood, Lingard|
|Injured:||Bailly, Dalot, McTominay|
|LASK (3-4-2-1):||Schlager, Ramsebner, Trauner, Ranftl, Reiter, Holland, Michori, Renner, Tetteh, Klaus, Frieser|
|Subs:||Gebauer, Balic, Mueller, Wostry, Haudum, Raguz, Sabizter, Filipovic|
So Far This Season
|Man United This Season||LASK This Season|
|7 (3)||Wins (away)||5 (1)|
|5 – 0 v LASK||Biggest Win||4 – 1 v PSV Eindhoven|
|2 (2)||Draws (away)||2 (2)|
|2 – 1 v FC Astana||Biggest Defeat||0 – 5 v Man United|
|Fernandez (6)||Top Goal Scorer||Raguz (5)|
|Y6, R1||Discipline||Y18, R1|
|1||Failures to Score||2|
|53%||Both Teams to Score Games||56%|
|67%||Over 2.5 Goals||67%|
|33%||Under 2.5 Goals||33%|
- The two have played against each other just once; the Red Devils beat the Austrian outfit by five goals to nil.
- Both sides are brilliant going forward with five of the nine of their games managing Over 2.5 with United having scored with a 5 – 0 scoreline in two occasions.
- Bruno Fernandez is the joint leading goalscorer on six, tied with six other players. He also leads the assists table with four for both Man United and Sporting Lisbon.
- The winner of this stage faces FC Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksehir with Olympiacos, Roma or Sevilla potential semi-final opponents.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|12/03/2020||Europa Leauge||LASK 0 – 5 Man United||Ighalo 28’|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
United’s third-place Premier League finish has dramatically changed the outlook of this competition from their perspective. No longer a must-win tournament, it does, however, give their rookie manager a chance to get his first major piece of silverware since taking over. With the huge advantage in this tie, don’t be surprised if Ole Gunnar Solskjær rests some stars for this fixture and bloods more youngsters.
It’s been a long season for LASK; their European adventure started in the Champions League in which a third-place group finish, largely due to an excellent 4-1 win against PSV Eindhoven, saw them enter the Europa League. The first leg has killed the tie as a competition, but this might suit LASK, playing with no pressure or expectations.
United are undefeated in 19 of their last 20 Europa League matches, and we expect this run to continue with a routine win against LASK. Our tip would be a 3-1 win for the home side @ 10/1 with 888sport. We have a feeling that Odion Ighalo, a staunch United fan, is going to replicate his great performance in the first leg and is worth backing in the goalscorer market.