Erik ten Hag’s men will look to pick up their first Champions League win of the season at Old Trafford on Tuesday. We look ahead to the game with our data-powered Manchester United vs Copenhagen prediction and preview.
Manchester United vs Copenhagen: The Quick Hits
- Manchester United are big favourites, predicted to beat Copenhagen according to the Opta supercomputer, with simulations seeing them win 66.2% of the time.
- This is the first time United have begun a Champions League campaign with defeats in their opening two matches (vs Bayern Munich and Galatasaray). They have actually lost their last three games in this competition.
- Rasmus Højlund has scored in both of his Champions League appearances for United, claiming three goals in the process. If he finds the net in this game against his former team, he’ll be the first player to score in his first three games for the Red Devils in the European Cup/Champions League since John Connelly in 1965 (three).
Manchester United will look to hoist themselves off the bottom of Group A when they host FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
Two defeats from two games means this one surely goes down as a must win if United are to reach the Champions League knockout stages and keep their hopes of lifting Europe’s top prize for a fourth time alive.
Erik ten Hag’s ongoing run of three defeats in the Champions League is his longest losing streak across the 34 games he has taken charge of in the competition, while another loss on Tuesday would mark the first time United have lost four straight in their rich UCL history.
Copenhagen, meanwhile, are also looking to bounce back after falling to a 2-1 home defeat against Bayern Munich on Matchday 2 despite going in front. That’s the second time they have let a lead slip in this season’s Champions League after they gave up a two-goal advantage in the 2-2 draw with Galatasaray on MD 1. Their five points dropped from winning positions is tied for the most in the competition this term and leaves them third in Group A.
The Danish side have made it to the knockout stages just once before, losing to Chelsea in the 2010-11 round of 16, but the performances of Lukas Lerager are giving fans hope they can turn things around to progress from the group.
The midfielder has been directly involved in two of Copenhagen’s three goals in the Champions League this term (one goal, one assist). The last player with more goals and assists in a single edition of the competition for the 15-time Superliga champions was Ludwig Augustinsson in 2016-17 (three).
Man Utd may have won just one of their last three games against Danish sides in the Champions League, but Copenhagen’s record against English teams in European competition is even worse, failing to score in their last seven such matches and losing four of those.
In terms of team news, the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Lisandro Martínez, Luke Shaw, Amad Diallo and Tyrell Malacia continue to be long-term absentees for Ten Hag, while Casemiro – who missed the 2-1 win over Sheffield United due to a knock sustained on international duty with Brazil – is back in training but will miss this game due to suspension.
Jonny Evans limped off in the latter stages of Saturday’s victory but is expected to be fit for kick-off, while Sergio Reguilón is also likely to feature having missed the last five games. Jadon Sancho, absent since a public spat with Ten Hag in early September, continues to be left out.
For Copenhagen, Birger Meling is reportedly unlikely to feature in the lineup after going off injured in the league win over Vejle at the weekend while William Clem and Noah Sahsah are also doubts. Oscar Højlund, brother of United’s Rasmus, is expected to be on the bench.
Manchester United vs Copenhagen Head-to-Head
This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams and the first since the 2019-20 campaign, when Man Utd edged past Copenhagen 1-0 in the Europa League quarter-finals thanks to a Bruno Fernandes penalty in extra time.
The sides were drawn together in the 2006-07 Champions League group stages, with Copenhagen’s first ever Champions League victory coming against United, a 1-0 home win in November 2006 the season before the Red Devils lifted the famous trophy for a third time.
The Danish side were beaten 3-0 in the reverse fixture as Paul Scholes, John O’Shea and Kieran Richardson got on the scoresheet. Copenhagen have never won or scored a goal in their four away games against English sides in the Champions League.
Manchester United have won back-to-back league games, beating Brentford and Sheffield United either side of the international break as a response to two straight defeats against Crystal Palace and Galatasaray in the Premier League and Champions League respectively. They are yet to draw a game in any competition this season.
Marcus Rashford has either scored (three) or assisted (one) in each of his last four Champions League starts at Old Trafford. The last player to do so in five consecutive home starts in the competition for United was Ryan Giggs in September 2011 (six), and Rashford will have plans on playing a big role again on Tuesday to help his team to a much-needed three points.
Copenhagen’s last away defeat came back in May, unbeaten in their last 14 on the road with 10 victories during that run. They have lost just three games in all competitions this season, helped by the rise of 17-year-old Roony Bardghji, who leads the team with six Superliga goals this term.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Tuesday night, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Manchester United vs Copenhagen Prediction
The Opta supercomputer has Manchester United as favourites to take all three points by beating FC Copenhagen on Tuesday.
A home win is rated as the most likely outcome at 66.2%, with Copenhagen given a 15.1% chance of pulling off the upset. A draw would keep the Danish side above United in Group A, and the teams to share the spoils stands at an 18.7% probability.
Opta’s 10,000 simulations of this Champions League campaign has United getting out of the group 32% of the time, with Copenhagen’s chances rated at just 9.2%. Ten Hag’s men are not expected to challenge in the latter stages of the competition, though, reaching the semi-finals in only 5.1% of simulations and the final just 1.7% of the time.
Manchester United vs Copenhagen UCL Squads
Manchester United: Altay Bayındır, Tom Heaton, André Onana, Victor Lindelöf, Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martínez, Tyrell Malacia, Sergio Reguilón, Raphaël Varane, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jonny Evans, Sofyan Amrabat, Mason Mount, Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, Jadon Sancho, Facundo Pellistri, Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Rasmus Højlund, Antony.
Head Coach: Erik ten Hag
FC Copenhagen: Kamil Grabara, Kevin Diks, Denis Vavro, David Khocholava, Christian Sorensen, Viktor Claesson, Mateo Tanlongo, Diogo Goncalves, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Jordan Larsson, Lukas Lerager, Khouma Babacar, Orri Oskarsson, Elias Jelert, Nicolai Boilesen, Theo Sander, Peter Ankersen, Valdemar Lund, Elias Achouri, Rasmus Falk, Oscar Højlund, Roony Bardghji, Andreas Dithmer.
Head Coach: Jacob Neestrup