As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United take on FC Copenhagen in the Quarter-final of the Europa League on Monday evening, majority of neutral football fans as well as the Manchester United supporters will want to know more information about Stale Sobakken’s rising side.
In their recent victory over Istanbul Basaksehir, the 13th time Danish Superliga champions were proving to be effective on and off the ball, as they went on to score three goals, create three big chances and complete six shots on target, despite allowing the opposition to dominate possession.
There is a former Manchester United player that plays for the opposition team in Guillermo Varela, who was given his Premier League and Europa League debut under Louis Van Gaal. Unfortunately for the right-back, he did not show the potential on both sides of the pitch to be a long-term player at Old Trafford. Due to this, he was sent out on loan to Real Madrid Castilla and Eintracht Frankfurt for the next two seasons, before retuning permanently to Penarol, his boyhood club back in Uruguay.
Now, with no further ado, here are the three Copenhagen players for United to look out for…
Jonas Wind – Centre forward
After producing the goods in the last round of the Europa League knockout stages, scoring a powerful header from a cross perfectly made by Varela and a well-taken goal from the penalty spot, Jonas Wind is now being regarded as one of the best up and coming talents in Danish football. The 21-year-old had a bright start to the 2019/2020 league campaign, notching five goals and two assists in six appearances, but his season unfortunately came to an end as he suffered a severe knee injury.
However, given the situation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the return of Europa League football after being on hold for a few months, Wind has been able to return back to full fitness and is now guiding Copenhagen into the advanced areas of the competition like never before. With his athleticism, link-up play and final third instincts standing out, United’s centre-backs and Nemanja Matic will have to remain at full focus from start to end, as Wind will make any small chance count.
Pep Biel – Right winger
With Luke Shaw currently on the sidelines, the whole expectations are on the shoulders of young Brandon Williams, who is yet to show that he has the potential and natural ability to prove to Solskjaer he can make the left-back position his very own. On that note, Pep Biel may have an interesting match ahead of himself, if his team-mates can get him on the ball on the counter-attack, as Williams can easily get caught high up the pitch and he does not have the pace to always get back.
The main duo in attack tend to be Jonas Wind and Rasmus Falk, but given that the pair were performing at a high level recently and are analysed well by the United’s analysis department by now, it would mean that Biel has the important opportunity to step up and show his qualities for Stale Sobakken’s side. The Spaniard became the club’s most expensive signing last summer, and the Copenhagen supporters will be hoping that he can make their Monday night complete with a victory.
Zeca – Centre midfield
As the main battle between both sides will be in the middle of the pitch, Copenhagen’s captain, Zeca, will be looking to guide his team through his leadership as well as his ability to have the team ticking from defence to attack and also, making the relevant and required interceptions and tackles. The 31-year-old ended the Danish Superliga 2019/20 season as the club’s Player of the Year, with the Lisbon-born Greek international being regarded as a fans favourite and a well-respected individual.
Zeca will be expected to defend more than recycle the ball and attack on Monday evening, as Manchester United will be the ones to dominate possession, and they are quite consistent at keeping the ball in the opposition area for majority of the game. Not only that, Zeca and his partner in midfield, Robert Mudrazija, have a massive task ahead of themselves, as they will have to bring their A game in order to nullify a midfield that contains both Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.