Europa League Preview: Man United expected to dominate behind closed doors

Manchester United will head into Thursday’s Europa League last-16 tie against LASK as favourites following their recent surge in form.

The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last ten games, winning seven and keeping eight clean sheets.

They will be without Anthony Martial – who picked up a knock in Sunday’s derby win over Manchester City – Paul Pogba (ankle) and Marcus Rashford (back).

Their Austrian opponents won’t be a walkover however, having not lost in any of their last six European games.

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The match is set to be played behind closed doors, with no more than 500 spectators allowed inside the stadium due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Manchester club have today reimbursed all supporters that had travelled to Austria £350 each to cover costs and agreed to refund all tickets – 700 fans were expected to have made the journey.

Speaking to the BBC, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he would “understand” if the football season was to be cut short following the spread of the global pandemic.

Serie A and La Liga have already been suspended as well as the NBA, while McLaren have pulled out of this weekend’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

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“It’s up to the experts to decide,” said Solskjaer.

“I would understand, under the circumstances. The main concern must be the health of the general public and the decision that will be made we’ll back.”

The Premier League is now under increasing pressure to suspend all immediate fixtures, rather than playing behind closed doors.

Follow our live blog for more updates on the coronavirus and day three of the Cheltenham festival, as well as the rest of the day’s news.

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