Manchester United have one foot in the quarter finals after a massive 5-0 win at LASK in the first leg of this Europa League last sixteen tie. The Red Devils finished the Premier League strongly, finishing in third and qualifying for the Champions League. This was as visitors LASK led the regular season of the Austrian Bundesliga, but faltered in the championship playoffs, where they lost six of 10 games to emerge fourth. The winners of this tie face either Istanbul Basasksehir or FC Copenhagen in the quarter finals.
Manchester United were impressive in the first leg with four of their goals coming in the second half. United advanced to the knockout stage of the Europa League as Group L winners where they won four times and drew once. A 2-1 defeat by FC Astana in the group stage has been United's only loss in the current campaign. In the last 32, they drew away at Club Brugge 1-1 before winning 5-0 at Old Trafford. Overall, United are playing well and have only lost once in 22 league and cup games. However, they only have one win in their last three games in all competitions, although they had won six of their previous seven. At home, the Red Devils are without a win in their last three matches but had won their previous five with four clean sheets. They have also won all of their last four Europa games at home, all with clean sheets. They are unbeaten in their last 13 home Europa League matches, last losing one eight years ago. Expect them to play a very weakened side in this game as they rest their players for the expected games in Germany later this month.
LASK conceded seven goals to lose their last three domestic championship games. They also lost 2-0 at home to Slovakian side FK Senica in a friendly match last week. LASK began the season in the Champions League beating Basel before losing to Club Brugge (later to lose to United in this competition) in the play-off round. Transferred to the Europa League, LASK won four of their six matches to lead Group D ahead of Sporting Lisbon and PSV Eindhoven. The last 32 saw them defeat AZ Alkmaar 3-2 on aggregate The heavy defeat at home to Manchester United, however makes it extremely unlikely they will progress in this tie. With only four goals in their last five away Europa League games, scoring at least five at Old Trafford does not look like happening. They also have just one win in their last five away Europa League games but with two draws.
Manchester United carry a superior lead into this match and will certainly not be under any pressure. LASK, who had a disappointing end to their domestic league season, will, on the other hand, be pursuing a miracle in order to overturn the score. But with a poor defensive run, and the fact that they are facing a United side that is strong at home, we do not see any disappointments for the hosts even if they do play a weakened side. As such, we will go for United to win with over 3.5 goals scored in the match.