Manchester United will go into their Europa League game against Kazakhstani side FC Astana on Thursday at home, who is a virtual unknown to United. Although we do have a superior team to the Eastern European squad. This could be a potential banana skin for us if we are careless and lack any concentration at the back. United just needs to play their normal game and we need to put away our chances early when we get them.
Because if we don’t win at home, especially we lose then that just puts more pressure on us now in the next five games. Partizan and AZ Alkmaar are teams that could pull off upsets against us too. Partizan plays in the Serbian league and has an extraordinary history of title success. AZ Alkmaar also has great history as well and won the Eredivisie back in the 2008-2009 season. Partizan who plays in the Serbian league has a history of producing very good technical players who are very skillful.
According to Wikipedia, the team plays in the Kazakhstan Premier League, and they were founded in 2009 as Lokomotiv Astana. So the’re a very young club that is trying to make their mark in Europe. However they have had a lot of success since their founding.
They have won the Kazakhstan Premier League 5 times: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018.
Kazakhstan Cup winners 3 times: 2010, 2012, 2016.
Kazakhstan Super Cup 4 times: 2011, 2015, 2018, 2019.
So we can’t take this side for granted. Even though their league is no where near the standard of the English Premier League, me must respect what they have accomplished nevertheless. They may turn out to be more competitive than you think, because they’ll come to Old Trafford to make a point and make us an example by upsetting us on our own homeground. We must start the game brightly and place pressure on them from the start. Let’s see how they react to such a club as United when they’re placed into a challenging atmosphere away from home.
I am confident that we’ll be victorious because we have much better quality players and play in the best league in the world. Our last win against Leicester City should motivate us to win 2 in a row and then as the competition progresses in the Europa League, we should win convincely enough against the other sides in the group to earn a trip to the second round.
We don’t have a tough group, but I am sure that these teams could make it challenging for us in this group stage of the competition. If we can dominate the game from the beginning, and get 2 goals early and then get a third in the second-half, then I don’t see why we shouldn’t go on to win this match.