Thursday, 19 September 2019
Manchester United’s Europa League campaign begins on Thursday as they face lowly Astana of Kazakhstan in a Group L fixture at Old Trafford.
In what will be the maiden encounter for United against a club from Kazakhstan and Astana’s first against a side from England, the Red Devils are expected to walk over their Eastern European opponents.
Following a nervy 1-0 win over Leicester in the league, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will look to rotate his squad to keep his team fresh. Solskjaer could use the competition to distribute playing time to other members of the first team squad after picking fairly similar starting XIs in their 5 Premier League outings this season.
Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Sergio Romero are yet to play this season with goalkeeper David De Gea expected to be rested.
Academy graduates Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood will also be looking to further their education in this match.
Astana are third in the Kazakhstan Premier League after 24 matches following a 2-1 win over Shakhter Karagandy on Sunday. The club have won the championship for the past 5 seasons.
Coach Roman Hryhorchuk will look to Croatian import Marin Tomassov who is their star player and top scorer striking 7 times in this competition. Iceland midfielder Runar Mar Sigurjonsson is another player to look out for.
Head to Head:
This will be the maiden encounter for both clubs.
Manchester United 3-0 correct score