By Andy Hyslop
- Europa League round of 32 draw pits United against FC Midtjylland
- United will travel to Denmark for the first leg on Thursday February 18
- Return leg at Old Trafford seven days later
While Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City were awaiting the draw for the round of 16 in the Champions League. Manchester United joined Tottenham and Liverpool in the round of 32 draw for the Europa League.
Manchester United were seeded for draw having been one of four best third place teams to drop out of the Champions League into the Europa League. Meaning United could be drawn against any of Europa League group runners-up or one of four worst third place teams from the Champions League.
Meaning the draw could have pitted Louis Van Gaal and his side against some United old boys. With a tie against Robin Van Persie and Nani with their new side Fenerbahce or Valencia and the Neville brothers both possibilities.
The draw though saw United given a tie against Denmark’s FC Midtjylland. Without underestimating the Danish side, this is a favourable draw for the Red Devils.
The first leg of the tie will take place in Denmark on Thursday February 18, kicking off at 6:00pm GMT. With the return leg at Old Trafford the following week with a kick-off time of 8:05pm.
Who Are FC Midtjylland
Like United FC Midtjylland started their European campaign in the Champions League after winning the Danish Superliga for the first time in 2015, they were knocked out in the third qualifying round. Drawing 2-2 on aggregate with APOEL Nicosia, losing the tie on away goals.
In the Europa League group stages, FC Midtjylland finished as runners-up to Napoli and finishing above Club Brugge. The team United beat to make to the group stages of the Champions League.
FC Midtjylland were only formed in 1999. They were actually formed four days before Manchester United defeated Nottingham Forest on their way to the famous Treble. it won’t be their first time playing in Manchester, they defeated City 1-0 in the first leg of a UEFA Cup tie.
Midtjylland play their home matches at MCH Arena in Herning. The stadium was opening in March 2014 and has a capacity of 11,800.
They have a tradition of developing there own players. They were the first Danish side to have its own football academy that attracts players from all over Denmark. Also a number of players have been developed from their partnering club in Nigeria; FC Ebedei.
One player developed at the academy is currently playing in England. That is New Zealand captain and West Ham defender Winston Reid, who despite being born in New Zealand moved to Denmark at the age of ten.
Current Fc Midtjylland midfielder Tim Sparv is one player that is looking forward to the tie against United.
— Tim Sparv (@TimSparv) December 14, 2015