For all the dominance that Salzburg showed in the Champions League group stages, the departures of both Erling Haaland and Takumi Minamino has had ramifications on both their European and domestic hopes.
Indeed, they’ve dropped down the Austrian Bundesliga rankings, which has paved the way for LASK to establish a six-point lead at the head of the table.
Valerien Ismael’s side haven’t just been gifted their spot at the top of the league as they’ve won 12 of their last 14 Bundesliga games dating back to late September, winning by two or more goals in seven of those.
However, they’ll be under no illusions about the fact that this next fixture against a resurgent Man Utd outfit is going to be their toughest task yet. In fact, against the best sides they’ve faced this season in Salzburg, Club Brugge, AZ Alkmaar, Sporting, PSV and Basel, they’re W6-D3-L4 across all competitions, as four of those victories came at Raiffeisen Arena.
The Red Devils have enjoyed some tremendous form of late, winning seven of 10 unbeaten matches since late January across all competitions, including victories over the likes of Man City (both home and away) and Chelsea.
They’ve kept eight clean sheets across these and look to be in a serious groove of form which has galvanised the fans.
Considering they went on a run of W1-D1-L3 on their travels between December and January, to turn that around and produce four wins from their last six unbeaten trips, it’s hard to not be confident in their chances.
LASK And Manchester United To Draw
The only statistic that might make you question their chances though, is the fact they’ve gone just W3-D5-L5 in the knockouts on the road in Europe since 2012/13.
However, in this competition alone they’re a much improved three draws from five unbeaten away outings at these later stages since 2016/17, and so we have enough reason to believe they’ll at least get a result this Thursday night in Austria.
The two legs of this tie sandwiches a very important trip to North London to face Spurs domestically in the Premier League, so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may well rest a few of his stars with Champions League football very much on the cards for next season, as they sit just three points off fourth-placed Chelsea.
With that in mind, the draw looks the value option. Indeed, when playing on the road in this competition in the groups and knockouts since this Last 16 stage back in 2016/17, United have had stalemates in over half their seven matches.
Meanwhile, the hosts are yet to lose in this tournament from six attempts here over that period when including qualifiers.
ALL ABOVE PRICES ARE CORRECT AS OF 10:30 10/03/2020 AND ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS
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