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LASK vs Manchester United Europa League preview: where to watch, team news

LASK host Manchester United in their UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg – all you need to know.

United's Fred and Bruno Fernandes in training on Wednesday
United's Fred and Bruno Fernandes in training on Wednesday Manchester United via Getty Imag

Manchester United travel to Austrian side LASK in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 on 12 March at 18:55 CET. This page will update with team news, quotes and expert analysis as kick-off approaches.


Where to watch the game on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA Europa League broadcast partner(s) here.

The teams

UEFA ranking: 103
Domestic position: 1
How they got there: Group D winners, 3-1 AZ Alkmaar
Last season: third qualifying round (lost on away goals v Beşiktaş after 2-2 draw)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: round of 32 (1984/85, 1985/86)

Highlights: LASK 2-1 AZ Alkmaar
Highlights: LASK 2-1 AZ Alkmaar

Manchester United
UEFA ranking: 10
Domestic position: 5
How they got there: Group L winners, 6-1 Club Brugge
Last season: UEFA Champions League quarter-finals (lost 4-0 v Barcelona)
Previous UEFA Cup/Europa League best: winners (2016/17)

Possible line-ups

LASK: Schlager; Ramsebner, Wrosty, Trauner; Ranftl, Michorl, Holland, Renner; Tetteh, Raguz, Frieser
Out: Goiginger (knee), Potzmann (knee), Filipović (suspended), Wiesinger (suspended)
Misses next game if booked
: Potzmann, Ranftl, Renner

United: Romero; Shaw, Lindelöf, Maguire; Dalot, McTominay, Fred, Williams; Bruno Fernandes; Greenwood, Ighalo
Out: Martial (leg), Pogba (ankle), Rashford (back), Grant (unspecified)
Doubtful: James (unspecified), Wan-Bissaka (back)

Highlights: Manchester United 5-0 Club Brugge
Highlights: Manchester United 5-0 Club Brugge

Expert prediction

Jordan Maciel, LASK reporter: A gargantuan task against one of the world's most famous teams awaits LASK in what may be the biggest night in the club’s history. The Linz side could not be in better form; top of the Austrian table, they are on course for a first league title since 1964/65, and have won all four of their UEFA Europa League home matches this season. They will be confident that they can make it to Old Trafford with a fighting chance.

Matthew Howarth, United reporter: United produced arguably their best performance of the season so far in the round of 32 second leg against Club Brugge, who beat LASK in the UEFA Champions League play-offs earlier this term. United will be well aware of LASK's form, but Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side travel to Austria with the wind in their sails, and will be confident of building a solid platform for the return leg at Old Trafford.

What the coaches say

Valérien Ismaël, LASK coach: "For us it is a unbelievable story: to play against Manchester United. That’s the reward for our work, a real highlight. But we are not playing these two matches just for the chance to swap shirts. We have high ambitions. We will be fully focused. Of course it hurts playing without our fans behind us, but we cannot allow that to affect us. We are looking forward to the game."

LASK coach Valérien Ismaël
LASK coach Valérien IsmaëlGetty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, United manager: "I've followed Austrian football a little bit and there have been quite a few Norwegians playing there. They've beaten Rosenborg this year, in the group stages and of course Sporting, so Bruno [Fernandes] has been involved against them. Bruno told me they do play expansive football, the goalkeeper joins in a lot with the play, so it'll be interesting."

Previous meetings

• LASK have never previously faced an English club in UEFA competition.

• United are undefeated in their eight previous matches against Austrian clubs (W7 D1) and have yet to concede a goal on Austrian soil, where they have scored seven times themselves, the most recent visit yielding a 2-0 win against Sturm Graz in the second group stage of the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League.

Recall Man. United win in Austria in 1996
Recall Man. United win in Austria in 1996

Form guide

• Runners-up to Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga last season, LASK also took part in UEFA competition for the first time since 2000 but were eliminated on away goals by Beşiktaş in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.

• LASK began this season's European journey in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, where they beat Basel (2-1 a, 3-1 h) before losing to Club Brugge (0-1 h, 1-2 a). That meant a first ever participation in the UEFA Europa League group stage, where they thrived, winning all three home games, registering 13 points and topping a group containing three European stalwarts in Sporting CP, PSV Eindhoven and Rosenborg.

• This is LASK's first taste of springtime European football. Their previous best seasons in continental competition were 1984/85 and 1985/86, when they reached the second round of the UEFA Cup.

• LASK have won seven of their eight European home games over the past two seasons, scoring 19 goals in the process, the sole defeat coming in that UEFA Champions League play-off tie against Club Brugge.

Highlights: LASK 3-0 Sporting CP
Highlights: LASK 3-0 Sporting CP

Manchester United
• The three-time champions of Europe finished sixth in the 2018/19 Premier League, which meant direct access to the UEFA Europa League. They were quarter-finalists in last season's UEFA Champions League, going out to Barcelona (0-1 h, 0-3 a) after a remarkable round of 16 second-leg comeback against Paris Saint-Germain (0-2 h, 3-1 a).

• United kept clean sheets in their first four UEFA Europa League group fixtures this term, securing qualification with two games to spare after doing the double over Partizan (1-0 a, 3-0 h). Although they lost 2-1 at Astana, ending the club's 15-match unbeaten run in the competition, United signed off in style with a 4-0 home win against AZ that secured top spot in Group L. At the time that was the club's joint biggest victory in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, but they trumped that in the round of 32 second leg with their 5-0 defeat of Club Brugge.

• The Manchester giants have appeared in the Europa League round of 16 three times previously but have only won one of those ties, against Rostov (1-1 a, 1-0 h) in 2016/17 en route to lifting the trophy. The two defeats came before that, against Athletic Club (2-3 h, 1-2 a) in 2011/12 and domestic arch rivals Liverpool (0-2 a, 1-1 h) in 2015/16.

• The Red Devils' away record in 15 UEFA Europa League fixtures is W5 D4 L6, the loss at Astana ending a seven-game undefeated run on their travels (W4 D3). Since that memorable win in Paris last spring United's European away record is W1 D2 L2, with just three goals scored in those five games.

2017 final highlights: Manchester United 2-0 Ajax
2017 final highlights: Manchester United 2-0 Ajax

Links and trivia 

• Manchester United's January signing Bruno Fernandes scored the winning goal for Sporting in their 2-1 victory against LASK on Matchday 2. The Portuguese international is the joint leading scorer in this season's UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, with six goals, including one for United, a penalty, that opened the scoring in the 5-0 win against Club Brugge.

• LASK's French coach Valérien Ismaël played in England from January to October 1998 with Crystal Palace, having joined the London club from Strasbourg for a record fee.

• James Holland (LASK) and Sergio Romero (Manchester United) were at AZ together in 2009/10, though the former played no competitive matches for the club.

• LASK were one of six clubs to make their UEFA Europa League group stage debut in 2019/20, and are one of just two, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers, to have made it through to the round of 16.

• Manchester United are one of two former UEFA Europa League winners in this season's round of 16, along with three-time champions Sevilla.

Five stunning round of 16 goals
Five stunning round of 16 goals

The coaches

• A former central defender who started out with home-town club Strasbourg, Ismaël spent the latter part of his career in Germany, winning the domestic double with both Werder Bremen and Bayern München. His final club, Hannover, gave the Frenchman his first coaching opportunity in charge of the reserves, and he occupied a similar role at Wolfsburg, which was punctuated by a brief spell as head coach at Nürnberg. After another short stint as the main man at Wolfsburg, from October 2016 to February 2017, he resurfaced in Austria as the new boss of LASK in May 2019.

• A former Old Trafford favourite, whose legendary status at the club was confirmed with his added-time winner in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final against Bayern München, Ole Gunnar Solskjær returned to Manchester United as interim manager in December 2018, replacing José Mourinho, before securing the position on a permanent basis the following March. A former Norwegian international striker renowned for his predatory goalscoring, he won six Premier League titles as a United player and established his reputation as a coach in his homeland with Molde.