Your guide to FC Copenhagen
Manchester United travel to Cologne on Monday to take on Denmark’s FC Copenhagen in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.
Ahead of our meeting on neutral territory in Cologne, we’ve rounded up all the need-to-know information about the Danish Superliga runners-up…
The Danish outfit have something of a depleted squad at present and only named seven of the available 12 substitutes during Wednesday’s win over Basaksehir. 'FCK', as they're known in Denmark, have been without the injured Nicolaj Thomsen, Ragnar Sigurdsson and Viktor Fischer in recent weeks, while Michael Santos is suspended. Former Hull City and Sunderland striker Dame N’Doye, who is the club's all-time leading goalscorer, departed on a free transfer last week.
FCK finished second in the Danish table, 14 points shy of champions FC Midtjylland. The capital club struggled for consistency after lockdown and won just three of their last 10 league matches this season. Stale Solbakken’s side actually began their 2019/20 European campaign on 23 July last year and entered the Europa League after failing to beat Red Star Belgrade over two legs in the Champions League qualification stages. After advancing from a group containing Lugano, Malmo and Dynamo Kiev, Copenhagen eliminated Celtic in the last 32, before beating Basaksehir in the previous round.
OUR RECORD V COPENHAGEN
The Reds have locked horns with the side from Denmark’s capital twice before. That double header came in the Champions League group stage in 2006/07, when we beat Copenhagen 3-0 at Old Trafford thanks to goals from Paul Scholes, John O’Shea and Kieran Richardson. We lost 1-0 in the reverse meeting, thanks to a late strike from former Aston Villa man Marcus Allback, but eventually progressed to the knockout rounds.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have a familiar face in the opposition dugout on Monday. The United boss completed his coaching badges with fellow Norwegian, and former international team-mate, Stale Solbakken. The 52-year-old has taken charge of over 600 games as Copenhagen manager during two spells, including those previous meetings with United, while he also managed Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 2012/13 campaign and enjoyed a brief spell as a player with Wimbledon. Solbakken certainly won’t feel out of place in Cologne either, given that the former midfielder spent nearly a year in the German city while managing FC Koln.
ONES TO WATCH
Rasmus Falk enjoyed a superb evening against Basaksehir, with the winger grabbing the third and final goal of the night. The 28-year-old also played a key part in Copenhagen’s opening strike against the Turkish side. Falk has played every European game for FCK this season and tends to cut inside from the left flank onto his stronger right foot.
United fans will recognise Guillermo Varela from the opposition roster. Varela made 11 senior appearances for the Reds, all under Louis van Gaal, before departing in 2017. Bryan Oviedo is another who followers of the Premier League will know - the Costa Rica full-back represented Everton and Sunderland during his seven-year stint in English football.
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