Juan Mata and Lucas Digne challenge for the ball during Manchester United v Everton

The week ahead for Man United

Manchester United’s busy December continues with a double-header at Old Trafford this week.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side host AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday, before welcoming Everton to the Theatre of Dreams three days later.

Here are some of the key dates for your diary over the next seven days...

MONDAY

The week starts off with a game for Neil Wood’s Under-23s, which you can watch live on MUTV. The young Reds face West Brom at Leigh Sports Village (kick-off 19:00 GMT), hoping to extend the gap between ourselves in second place and the Baggies in third to 12 points. A brace from James Garner helped United run out 5-0 victors in the reverse fixture in August – let's hope for more of the same!

U23s goals: United hit five against West BromVideo

TUESDAY

The latest edition of UTD Podcast, featuring Ashley Young, can be downloaded from our official music partner Deezer and all of your favourite podcast apps. If you haven’t had chance to hear our previous episodes yet, featuring both past and present players, you can catch up with them all here.

WEDNESDAY

Ole’s pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday’s match against AZ Alkmaar will take place at the Aon Training Complex on Wednesday morning, with live updates provided as usual in the Official App from 10:00 GMT. Later in the day, Casey Stoney’s Women travel down to the SportNation.bet Stadium in Solihull to take on Birmingham City in our final FA Women's Continental League Cup group game. The Reds have won three out of three games so far and all-but guaranteed qualification to the knockout stages after November’s impressive 11-1 thrashing of Leicester City. A point would confirm our berth in the last eight, while even defeat would be enough, provided it’s not by a margin of nine goals or more.

THURSDAY

United’s Europa League group stage campaign draws to a close as we meet AZ Alkmaar at Old Trafford (kick-off 20:00 GMT). If the Reds avoid defeat, we’ll top Group L and be sure of a place among the seeds when the draw for the last 32 takes place on Monday16 December, in Nyon, Switzerland. The match is being broadcast live on BT Sport, while MUTV will be showing all the build-up in our usual ‘Match Day Live’ programme.

FRIDAY

Ole will update reporters in his pre-match press conference after the AZ match, where he'll be expected to give an update on his team ahead of Sunday’s home game against Everton. Find out what he says in our Official App, and on ManUtd.com, from 10:00 GMT on Friday morning,

Neil Ryan’s Under-18s get our FA Youth Cup pursuit under way on Friday. We’ve been drawn to face Lincoln City Under-18s in the third round at Leigh Sports Village, in a game which kicks off at 19:00 GMT. The lads made it to the fourth round last season, defeating then-holders Chelsea at this stage before losing to Brighton & Hove Albion, and you can see if this season’s campaign gets off to a flying start, live on MUTV.

Europa League trophy
The AZ game will determine whether or not we'll be seeded for the Europa League draw.

SUNDAY

Our busy month of December continues, as Everton make the short trip down the M62 to Old Trafford. The last time this fixture was played, in October 2018, goals from Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial secured a 2-1 victory, and the boss will be hoping for more of the same this time around against the Toffees, who are without a manager after the departure of Marco Silva last week. Follow the build-up to the game on MUTV, as well as live updates in our Official App.

Elsewhere on Sunday, our Women make a second trip to the Midlands in the space of four days, this time to take on Birmingham in the WSL. Kick-off in both the men’s and women’s games is set for 14:00 GMT.

Finally, we’ll be wishing Jesse Lingard a happy 27th birthday. Hopefully, he’ll be celebrating with a United win!

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