Monday 14 December 2015

Reds to face Danish opponents in Europa League

United will travel to Denmark to take on FC Midtjylland in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League. 

The Danish side qualified for the knockout stages after finishing in second place in Group D behind Napoli but ahead of Club Brugge- whom we knocked out of the Champions League of course.

Midtjylland put out Southampton in the Europa League play-offs, after a 1-1 draw at St Mary's and a 1-0 win in the second leg in Denmark.

Jess Thorup's side currently sit in third place in their domestic table- two points behind leaders FC Copenhagen.

The club was only formed in 1999- four days before Sir Alex Ferguson's side beat Nottingham Forest 8-1 away and in the same season that the Reds won the treble.
In 2015, they won their domestic title for the first time and have played in Manchester before- beating City 1-0 in 2008 (before they got lucky and became rich) before going out of the UEFA Cup on penalties after losing by the same scoreline in the home leg.

Midtjylland host their home matches at the MCH Arena in Herning, a city on the Jutland peninsula of Denmark.
It has a capacity of 11,800 and United will play there in the first leg on Thursday 18 February with the return at Old Trafford coming a week later on Thursday 25 February. 

The Danish outfit's squad are hardly brimming with household names, but West Ham United's New-Zealand born defender Winston Reid came through their academy and Finland international Tim Sparv, formerly of Southampton, is also among their number.

Ex-Hibernian full back Francis Dickoh is also another of their well-known alumni.

It may be a first ever Midtjylland meeting for United but we have faced Danish opposition before- all in the Champions League: Aalborg (2008), Brondby (1998) and FC Copenhagen (2006). 

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