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Manchester United logo
Champions League | Group Stage
Oct 24, 2023 at 8pm UK
Old Trafford
FC Copenhagen

Man Utd
1 - 0
Copenhagen

Maguire (72')
Fernandes (80'), McTominay (90+5')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Manchester United vs. Copenhagen - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Manchester United and Copenhagen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Third time could be the charm for Manchester United in the Champions League, as the Red Devils - who are reeling from the loss of the late, great Sir Bobby Charlton - welcome Danish outfit Copenhagen to Old Trafford for Tuesday's Group A clash.

Erik ten Hag's men remain without a single point in the section after two matches, while their visitors sit one point and one place better off than their more esteemed hosts.


Match preview

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag pictured before the match on October 21, 2023© Reuters

No other fourth-placed team in the 2023-24 Champions League has managed as many as Man United's five goals across the opening two matchdays, but with defensive vulnerabilities rearing their ugly heads, the Red Devils' return to the big time has been a torrid affair thus far.

Ten Hag's team could be forgiven for falling short against perennial German champions Bayern Munich, but the panic button could have been pushed after an embarrassing 3-2 home loss to Galatasaray, where Rasmus Hojlund's brace was in vain as the Turkish side capitalised on the Red Devils' ongoing frailties through Wilfried Zaha, Kerem Akturkoglu and Mauro Icardi.

Now winless in five successive matches at the top level of European football - falling to defeat in each of their last three such contests - Man United are still flattering to deceive on the domestic front too, despite emerging victorious from recent battles with Brentford and Sheffield United.

Neither 2-1 victory was wholly convincing, though, and it took a Diogo Dalot special to sink the winless Blades on a sombre Saturday night, but the right-back's wonder strike means that Man United could now march to three successive wins for the first time since May.

A much-needed maximum will not be enough for Man United to force their way into the top two spots in Group A this week, though, and with three of their last five Old Trafford outings ending in defeat, Copenhagen can rightly dream of a midweek giant killing.

FC Copenhagen's Mohamed Elyounoussi celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 20, 2023© Reuters

Securing Superliga title number 15 last season, Copenhagen's domestic dominance is unsurprisingly yet to translate into a deep run in the Champions League, but Jacob Neestrup's side can pat themselves on the back for their efforts in Group A so far.

An opening 2-2 draw with Galatasaray was certainly two points dropped rather than one gained for Copenhagen, who led until the 86th minute before the Turkish outfit completed a remarkable turnaround, and a similar story befell them during the visit of Bayern Munich to their Scandinavian headquarters on matchday two.

Despite drawing first blood through Lukas Lerager, Neestrup's men succumbed to subsequent efforts from Jamal Musiala and Mathys Tel to occupy third place in the fledgling standings, but it was Copenhagen's turn to come from behind in a 2-1 Superliga success over Vejle on Saturday.

That narrow victory snapped a disheartening three-game winless run for the Danish champions, who head to Old Trafford with an astounding 14-game unbeaten run on the road to protect, while their scoring streak away from home also stands at 16 consecutive fixtures.

Two meetings took place between Man United and Copenhagen in the 2006-07 Champions League group stage, where the Red Devils eased to a 3-0 home win before a 1-0 beating away from home, but victory by the same scoreline was theirs in the quarter-finals of the 2019-20 Europa League courtesy of Bruno Fernandes's 95th-minute penalty.

Manchester United Champions League form:


Manchester United form (all competitions):


Copenhagen Champions League form:


Copenhagen form (all competitions):


Team News

Manchester United's Casemiro walks off the pitch after being sent off on October 3, 2023© Reuters

As Dries Mertens latched onto a poor pass from Andre Onana, Casemiro had little choice but to bring the Belgian down inside the box and was sent for an early bath for his troubles, ruling the Brazilian out of the visit of Copenhagen through suspension.

Casemiro sat out the win over Sheffield United due to a blow to the ankle anyway, and he is joined on the absentee list by Amad Diallo (knee), Lisandro Martinez (foot), Jadon Sancho (disciplinary), Kobbie Mainoo (ankle), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (muscle), Tyrell Malacia (knee), and Luke Shaw (muscle), but there is optimism that Sergio Reguilon will recover from his hamstring niggle.

Harry Maguire more than justified his inclusion in the first XI against Sheffield United and can feel hopeful of retaining his spot in the backline here, but it would be a surprise not to see Raphael Varane return in place of Jonny Evans.

While Casemiro has incurred a suspension, Copenhagen will welcome defender Elias Jelert back from a continental ban served in the loss to Bayern, but Lerager and Birger Meling are now one caution away from sitting out a game themselves.

In any case, Meling was a first-half casualty of Copenhagen's Superliga victory at the weekend, and Neestrup has conceded that he does not expect the left-back to play again before the November international break; Christian Sorensen should step in.

William Clem (broken leg), Noah Sahsah (knee) and Nicolai Boilesen (unspecified) are also out of contention for the Danish champions, whose matchwinner from the weekend - Mohamed Elyounoussi - will make a swift return to English soil after leaving relegated Southampton over the summer.

Eighteen-year-old midfielder Oscar Hojlund will reunite with older brother Rasmus Hojlund on Tuesday night, but the former is set for a place on the Copenhagen bench.


Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Onana; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Reguilon; Eriksen, McTominay; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund

Copenhagen possible starting lineup:
Grabara; Jelert, Diks, Vavro, Sorensen; Lerager, Falk, Claesson; Achouri, Larsson, Elyounoussi


SM words green background

We say: Manchester United 2-1 Copenhagen

Another uncomfortable evening could be in store for Man United this week, as a Copenhagen side who are an extremely tough nut to crack away from home have gone toe-to-toe with their Group A counterparts so far and are rarely quelled in the final third.

A lack of recuperation time will do neither manager any favours either, but the Red Devils still possess goal threats from all areas of the field, and we have faith in Ten Hag's side to belatedly get off the mark in the Champions League, but it may not be too pretty.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


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Game History

How you voted: Man Utd vs Copenhagen

Manchester United
71.9%
Draw
14.8%
Copenhagen
13.3%
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Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
QBayern651016
QCopenhagen62228
3Galatasaray61235
4Man Utd61144

Group B

TeamPWDLPTS
QArsenal641113
QPSV62319
3Lens62228
4Sevilla60242

Group C

TeamPWDLPTS
QReal Madrid660018
QNapoli631210
3Braga61144
4Union Berlin60242

Group D

TeamPWDLPTS
QReal Sociedad633012
QInter Milan633012
3Benfica61144
4Salzburg61144

Group E

TeamPWDLPTS
QAtletico642014
QLazio631210
3Feyenoord62046
4Celtic61144

Group F

TeamPWDLPTS
QDortmund632111
QPSG62228
3AC Milan62228
4Newcastle61235

Group G

TeamPWDLPTS
QMan City660018
QRB Leipzig640212
3Young Boys61144
4Red Star60151

Group H

TeamPWDLPTS
QBarcelona640212
QPorto640212
3Shakhtar63039
4Antwerp61053


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