Manchester United travel to Denmark this evening for their crucial Champions League group game against FC Copenhagen.
United’s qualification hopes are still in the balance after two losses from their opening two fixtures were followed up by a narrow win against tonight’s opponents, at Old Trafford.
Should Erik ten Hag’s men claim all three points this evening and Bayern Munich see off Galatasaray in Germany, United’s trip to Turkey on Matchday 5 will be the deciding fixture of their Group A campaign.
Ten Hag is well aware of the need for United to win the game this evening and despite a poor showing in the reverse fixture, will expect his men to secure the victory.
Rasmus Hojlund faces his former club and the Danish striker is likely to be United’s biggest weapon this evening.
The 20-year-old’s best moments have come in the Champions League for his new club and he will be chomping at the bit to make his mark on home soil.
Setting the electric pace of Marcus Rashford and Hojlund free should prove too much for the Danish Champions but getting the ball to the dangerous duo will be key.
With the technicality of European football suiting Christian Eriksen and Mason Mount, expect the pair to join Bruno Fernandes as the attacking trio around Rashford and Hojlund and their ability to interchange will keep Copenhagen guessing.
All can operate wide on the right, as well as in the middle and if they can dovetail successfully, United should be in for a fruitful evening.
Andre Onana, who has looked long more times than expected since his arrival will surely be tasked with popping the ball into his back four for United to eventually get their playmakers into the game.
Then it will be down to the attacking talent to interchange and combine to feed Hojlund in particular who, despite his domestic barren spell, looks like he has a goal in him in Europe.
Naturally, United will have to settle into the game and with an electric atmosphere expected in Denmark, controlling the ball from the early stages will be crucial.
United are still without the influential Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martinez but Harry Maguire, who has returned to form in recent weeks, and the experienced Raphael Varane should be happy enough to take the ball and look forward.
Copenhagen showed they were a threat at Old Trafford so there will be no excuse to be caught cold tonight.
If Hojlund can continue his good form in Europe, expect him to be the difference maker and ease the pressure on his boss, who has come under fire this season.
An early goal would be the perfect tonic to any nerves on a night where United simply have to win if they want to avoid an embarrassing early exit from Europe’s top competition.