Solskjaer hints at team changes against LASK

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that there is likely to be plenty of changes to the Manchester United starting XI when we resume our UEFA Europa League campaign on Wednesday evening against LASK.

The Reds boast a healthy 5-0 advantage from the first leg in Linz way back on 12 March, and the Norwegian says the team he selects for the second leg against the Austrians is likely to be similar to the one that earned that lead - although he confirmed there would be at least one change.
 
“Jesse [Lingard] will be starting tomorrow, but the team won't be too different to the last time we played LASK away in March,”
said the Norwegian.
 
“We know that it will be a difficult game. It wasn't a 5-0 game [in the first leg]. We scored three goals in the last five, so of course we know that we have to perform. There's opportunities for players [who do well in this game] to play in the quarters if we get through.”

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Only Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Odion Ighalo were involved in both our last Premier League game and the first leg against LASK, so there are likely to be plenty of alterations. 
 
The boss says Phil Jones will not be involved, but is close to a return, and also gave an update on Axel Tuanzebe and Luke Shaw, both of whom have not been registered in the squad for the final stages of this competition due to injury.

“Phil has been training here, he's not been not match-fit, but he's been getting closer, so maybe he can join in in Germany. We'll see how he progresses over the next few days,”
said Ole.

“Axel started to get niggles early on when we restarted, and he had an operation in his foot, so he'll be back early September-ish. The same with Luke. He sustained an injury against Southampton and he'll be ready again early September, so they both should be ready for when the league starts.”
Several young Academy players have been added to the squad, and Solskjaer said there could be opportunities for first-team experience, as there was in our group-stage fixture against Astana in December.

“The youngsters coming in [to the squad] give us a bigger training group and hopefully we can see the start of a career there,”
said the 47-year-old.

The youngsters added to the squad are Ethan Galbraith, James Garner, Ethan Laird and Teden Mengi. 
WHAT'S THE NEWS FROM THE AUSTRIANS' CAMP?
 
We await with interest an update from LASK's new coach, Dominik Thalhammer, who replaced Valerien Ismael last month. The Linz-based outfit finished just fourth in the Austrian Bundesliga, despite leading the competition when we first met in spring, but have not lost away in Europe in 2020.
 
Thalhammer will hold his own press conference at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening (4 August), where he is expected to provide an update on any injury concerns the Black-Whites might have.
IF UNITED PROGRESS, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
 
If United can safely navigate the second leg against LASK, and ensure our 5-0 lead is not overturned, Solskjaer's team will travel to Germany for the mini-tournament that will complete the 2019/20 Europa League.
 
The Reds will play either Istanbul Basaksehir or Copenhagen in the last eight, in a game which is scheduled to take place at the Koln Stadion on Monday.
 
If United succeed there, we'll face one of Olympiacos, Roma, Sevilla or Wolverhampton Wanderers. That semi-final, plus the final, is also due to take place in Cologne, so the Reds will not leave the famous cathedral city should we make it all the way to the final.

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