Manchester United vs AS Roma | Europa League Semifinal 1st leg | Old Trafford | KO 20:00 GMT | BT Sport
Manchester United enter their fifth semi-final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Thursday night, when they face AS Roma in the final four of the UEFA Europa League, knowing they must get a positive result to take to Italy in a weeks’ time.
The Reds appeared to run out of steam against Leeds United at the weekend, and it is vital that they reignite their form for the visit of Roma, to overcome their semi-final hoodoo, and finally make it to the next level, a final.
The Europa League is the final competition that United have a chance of winning this season and must win it in order to avoid a fourth consecutive trophyless season.
How do Manchester United look?
Antony Martial and Phil Jones appear to be the only absentees for the clash against Roma; they are expected to miss the rest of the campaign due to injury.
Marcus Rashford has had a number of issues troubling him over the past couple of months, which has led to him missing a few games, being substituted off early in others, and playing through the pain on a number of occasions.Embed from Getty Images
Speaking on the Englishman’s injuries and fitness level, Solskjaer said “We have managed Marcus and we have had to do it for quite a while” … “I feel he’s gone through the worst now. He’s available for selection tomorrow, he’s happy with the progress” he added.
Eric Bailly, who is back in full training after his COVID-19 period of isolation, is available for selection, and could displace one of Victor Lindelöf or Harry Maguire, but this is unlikely.
Dean Henderson, who is now United’s recognised number one, has started all of the clubs’ league matches as of late, whereas David de Gea has had to play second fiddle, and will most likely start in goal on Thursday night as the rotational goalkeeper.
Edinson Cavani, who scored in The Reds’ last match in Europa, could start up front, however, the impressive form of Mason Greenwood could demand a spot in the eleven.
Opposition: AS RomaEmbed from Getty Images
Roma, who sit seventh in the Italian first division, have experienced an indifferent season this campaign, are eleven points from European qualification, and will rely on winning the Europa League in order to play in next season’s Champions League.
Paulo Fonseca has confirmed that former Manchester United duo Henrick Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling are fit to play, and will likely start at Old Trafford, whilst ex Manchester City cult hero Edin Dzeko will lead the line.
Spanish winger, and ex Chelsea player, Pedro, is not expected to make the match as he is injured.
Key StatsEmbed from Getty Images
Manchester United have been knocked out in each of their last four semi-finals.
United have beaten Roma four times, losing just once, in the six matches between the pair.
Manchester United 2-1 AS Roma.