FC Copenhagen vs Man United: team and injury news ahead of Europa League quarter final

FC Copenhagen vs Man United: team and injury news ahead of Europa League quarter final

Manchester United might be in strange territory tonight, but there will be some familiar faces lining up against them.

The Red Devils will be in the unusual situation of playing their Europa League quarter final against FC Copenhagen over one leg, in a neutral country, at a neutral ground, in front of an empty stadium in Cologne.

One face who is well-known to United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is Copenhagen’s head coach Ståle Solbakken.

The boss himself explained: ‘I used to play with Ståle Solbakken, he’s a good friend of mine – we’ve been in touch.

‘We wished each other good luck [before the last matches] and said hope to see you in Germany. They did their job, we did our job, so on to the next one.

‘Ståle’s teams are always well organised and difficult to play against. Very talented young players with experience. It’s going to be a difficult one.’

Another familiar face in Cologne’s ranks is defender Guillermo Varela, who played for United for four years between 2013 and 2017. He holds the dubious honour of being United’s first post-Sir Alex Ferguson signing but only ever managed eleven games for United’s first team. After being loaned to Spanish side Castilla and German outfit Eintracht Frankfurt, Varela returned to his home country, Uruguay, to play for Penarol before joining Copenhagen in January 2019.

Other Copenhagen players who have plied their trade in England are Bryan Oviedo, who played for Everton and Sunderland, Ragnar Sigurdsson (Fulham), Viktor Fischer (Middlesbrough) and Andreas Bjelland (Brentford).

United and Copenhagen have only met twice before, in the 2006-07 Champions League group stages. The Red Devils won 3-0 at Old Trafford and lost 1-0 in Denmark. That is the only match Copenhagen have ever won out of 10 played against English opposition.

It is their first ever European quarter-final – and the first for any Danish team since 1997.

United have no new injury concerns and have confirmed that Phil Jones has not travelled with the squad despite being back in training. Luke Shaw and Axel Tuanzebe also remain sidelined.

Copenhagen’s Michael Santos is suspended and Sigurdsson and Fischer are long-term absentees.

The referee will be Clément Turpin of France.

The winners of the match will face Wolves or Sevilla in the semi-finals on Sunday at the same stadium in Cologne, with the final again at the same venue five days later.

Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood have scored over 60 goals between them so far this season. But how much do you know about other strikers who played for the Red Devils over the years? Take our quiz below to find out.

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Red Billy is co-editor of The Peoples Person, author of three books and totally obsessed with football's transfer market. Always glad to get feedback - write to redbilly (at thepeoplesperson.com) or click the email link to send a message.