Manchester United and Partizan meet on UEFA Europa League Matchday 4 – all you need to know.
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Manchester United and Partizan meet on UEFA Europa League Matchday 4 at 21:00 CET on Thursday 7 November. This page will update with team news, quotes and expert analysis as kick-off approaches.
Where to watch the game on TV
Ole Gunnar Solskjær, United manager
"We've seen some young players getting a chance and doing well [in the Europa League]. Mason [Greenwood]'s given us a winner, Brandon [Williams] was fantastic in Belgrade and Jimmy [Garner] came through that game really well. We have given other players a chance to play which is important in the long run. Last time we were in [the Europa League], we won it. Any trophies you can get your hands on, you take. We've started really well and we want to get all the way to [the final in] Gdansk."
Savo Milošević, Partizan coach
"It will be much more difficult given that they are playing at home now, as everywhere in the world the home team has the advantage and we will have to adapt to that situation as well. If we can withstand the pressure of the famous stadium and that pressure on the pitch in the first half, then maybe we have a better chance."
Manchester United: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Jones, Williams; Garner, McTominay; James, Lingard, Rashford; Greenwood
Out: Dalot (unspecified), Lindelöf (back), Bailly (knee), Tuanzebe (hip), Fosu-Mensah (knee), Shaw (hamstring), Pogba (ankle), Matić (unspecified), Gomes (knock)
Partizan: Stojković; Urošević, Pavlović, Ostojić, Miletić; Tošić, Natcho, Zdjelar, Soumah; Asano, Sadiq
The state of play
United will be through from Group L if they win.
Matthew Howarth, Manchester United
United's three-game winning run ended with a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon. The Red Devils lacked the fluency of recent games and rarely looked like salvaging a point after falling behind, but Ole Gunnar Solskjær's team should be too strong for Partizan – even if the Norwegian fields another inexperienced side.
Ivan Vjetrović, Partizan
This match could provide relief for both sides, given their struggles in domestic football. Fourth in the Serbian table is disappointing for Partizan, who with 27 league titles to their name, have come to expect better. A 4-0 weekend win against Vojvodina has given them a lift, and if they have the same share of the luck as United had in Belgrade, Partizan have cause for hope.
• Manchester United carved out a two-point lead at the top of Group L with a 1-0 win at Partizan on Matchday 3 courtesy of Anthony Martial's 43rd-minute penalty. United have seven points from three games, with Partizan three points adrift.
• The clubs' Matchday 3 encounter was their first since the 1965/66 European Cup semi-final, which Partizan won 2-1 on aggregate despite a 1-0 second-leg defeat in Manchester.
• Prior to the 24 October meeting, Manchester United last faced Serbian opposition in the 1991 UEFA Super Cup, a one-off match played at Old Trafford and won 1-0 by the hosts with a Brian McClair goal. That made it three home wins out of three for United against Serbian teams, the first being a 2-1 victory over Crvena zvezda in the first leg of a 1957/58 European Cup quarter-final that will forever be overshadowed by tragedy since the second leg in Belgrade – which completed a 5-4 aggregate win – was the last match played by the famous Busby Babes before the Munich air crash on the return journey.
• Partizan have managed just four wins in 16 games against English clubs (D1 L11), the most recent of those – 1-0 at Newcastle United in the final qualifying round of the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League – being their sole away victory in eight visits (L7) and heralding a penalty shoot-out triumph that put them into the competition's group stage for the first time. Their last trip to England brought a 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• 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 after a remarkable round of 16 second-leg comeback against Paris Saint-Germain (0-2 h, 3-1 a).
• United have appeared in three previous UEFA Europa League campaigns, but this is only their second group stage start. The previous one, three seasons ago, ended in outright victory under manager José Mourinho against Ajax in Stockholm. The Manchester giants exited in the round of 16 on their other two participations.
• The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last ten UEFA Europa League home games (W8 D2), registering four wins out of four at Old Trafford in the group stage. They are currently on a run of 14 matches in the competition without defeat – four shy of the all-time record set last season by domestic rivals Chelsea.
• Third in the Serbian Superliga last term, Partizan won the domestic cup for the fourth year running, beating league champions Crvena zvezda 1-0 in the final. In Europe they came through three UEFA Europa League qualifiers before losing out to Beşiktaş in the play-offs (1-1 h, 0-3 a).
• This season Partizan entered the competition a round later, overcoming Connah's Quay and Malatyaspor and edging past Norwegian side Molde in the play-offs (2-1 h, 1-1 a) to book a sixth group stage berth. After failing to gain further progress in their first four attempts, the Serbian team succeeded in their most recent participation, in 2017/18, before falling at the last-32 hurdle to Viktoria Plzeň (1-1 h, 0-2 a).
• Partizan have lost ten of their 16 away fixtures in the UEFA Europa League group stage, winning just three, all of them, curiously, at teams whose names begin with the letter 'A' – Augsburg (3-1) and AZ Alkmaar (2-1) in 2015/16 and Astana on Matchday 2.
Links and trivia
• Partizan coach Savo Milošević played in England for Aston Villa from 1995–98, joining the Birmingham side from Partizan for a then club-record fee and lifting the League Cup in his debut campaign. He faced Manchester United on six occasions in the Premier League, the first on his Villa debut in a famous 3-1 win, but did not score against them; three of those games featured current United boss Solskjær in the opposition ranks.
• Partizan's Zoran Tošić was a United player from January 2009 until June 2010 but only played five matches for the club.
• Vladimir Stojković (Wigan, Nottingham Forest) and Lazar Marković (Liverpool) have also played in England.
• United midfielder Nemanja Matić has been a Serbia national team-mate of four Partizan players – Tošić, Stojković, Marković and Nemanja Miletić.
• Matić and Marković played together at Benfica in the first half of the 2013/14 season that culminated in a Liga triumph. United's Victor Lindelöf also made his Benfica debut in that campaign.
• Manchester United are one of three former UEFA Europa League winners in this season's group stage, along with Porto and Sevilla.
• United are one of two teams yet to concede a goal in the current group stage, along with Sevilla (Group A). Indeed, the Red Devils have kept clean sheets in their last four UEFA Europa League matches, starting with the 2017 final win against Ajax. The competition record, shared by four clubs (Arsenal, Napoli, Salzburg and Villarreal), is five.
• United goalkeeper David de Gea turns 29 the day of the game.
• A former Old Trafford favourite, whose legendary status was confirmed with his added-time winner in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final against Bayern München, Solskjær returned to Manchester United as interim manager in December 2018, replacing Mourinho, before securing the position on a permanent basis in March. A former Norwegian international striker renowned for his predatory goalscoring, he won six Premier League titles as a United player and built his reputation as a coach in his homeland with Molde.
• Short of managerial experience but a key figure at the club where he began his career in the early 1990s, Milošević was appointed Partizan's head coach in March 2019 and less than two months later had steered the Belgrade club to victory in the Serbian Cup. A powerful left-footed forward, he scored 37 goals in 102 international appearances, five of them for Yugoslavia at UEFA EURO 2000, where he was the tournament's joint-top marksman. He left Partizan for Aston Villa in 1995 and later played in Spain (Zaragoza, Espanyol, Celta Vigo, Osasuna) and Italy (Parma) before capping his career with a Russian league title at Rubin.