By 90Min
October 24, 2019

Manchester United are aiming to finish Thursday night top of Group L, as they take on FK Partizan in the Europa League.

A victory over the Serbian side would see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United lead the group after a 1-0 win over Astana and a 0-0 away draw at AZ Alkmaar. 

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However, United will be heading into this game with renewed belief after their uncharacteristically strong performance against bitter rivals Liverpool last Sunday. A repeat of such form would set them up nicely for a positive result far from home against a tricky opponent.

Partizan have also won one and drawn the other of their opening European matches and will be looking forward to hosting a European superpower like Man United, even if the Red Devils aren't in their prime. 

Here are some impressive stats to note as United travel to Serbia:


Old Foes

Partizan have faced Man United on one previous occasion, a two-legged semi-final of the European Cup way back in 1965/66.

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Thursday's hosts won the first leg 2-0, and despite losing the second leg 1-0 at Old Trafford, Partizan made the final and faced Real Madrid, where they lost 2-1.


Long Time, No See

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This is the first time Manchester United have faced Serbian opposition (including when Serbia was part of Yugoslavia) since 1991.

On that occasion, United faced Red Star Belgrade in the European Super Cup, a game they won 1-0 thanks to a Brian McClair goal.


Europa League Dominance

While United may wish they were playing Champions League football on weeknights, the Europa League has served them pretty well in recent times. 

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United are unbeaten in 13 Europa League matches - including nine wins - since their 2016 away defeat to Fenerbahce. During this period they have kept nine clean sheets and haven't conceded more than a single goal in any of these games. 


Maybe the Europa League isn't such a bad thing after all...


Home Advantage

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Whilst United are made favourites for this encounter, Partizan's European home record will be of concern to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

Partizan are unbeaten in 11 home European fixtures, winning eight of these. If that doesn't boost the confidence of the hosts, nothing will.


Tough Travels

If Manchester United fail to score against Partizan, it will mean the Red Devils will have failed to score in their past three away matches in major European competitions - an unwanted record that last occurred in November 2005, in which United failed to score in five consecutive away games in Europe.

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Considering United's struggles in front of goal this campaign, I think the visiting forwards will need all the luck they can get.

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