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Omonia Nicosia vs Man Utd predictions: Much-changed Red Devils to pass Omonia test

Omonia Nicosia vs Man Utd predictions: Much-changed Red Devils to pass Omonia test

Omonia Nicosia vs Man Utd predictions: Much-changed Red Devils to pass Omonia test

Erik ten Hag may still be shaking his head after Manchester United’s 6-3 defeat at Manchester City last Sunday and, after saying his side folded “like a pack of cards”, is likely to rotate for Thursday’s Europa League trip to Omonia Nicosia.

The Red Devils were outclassed by the Citizens but will expect to bounce back when they take on last season’s Cypriot Cup winners.

I Basilissa have a familiar face as their manager in Neil Lennon but are still to earn a point in this year’s Europa League.

However, with the pugnacious Northern Irishman at the helm, they are unlikely to make life easy for their illustrious Group E visitors.

Team news

United were outclassed at the Etihad but are not the first team to have been given such a beating by the Citizens and Ten Hag may use this game to take some of his players out of the firing line with an eye on Sunday’s trip to Everton.

Donny van de Beek, Martin Dubravka and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are all out with injuries, while both Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire are doubts.

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That could mean Victor Lindelof comes in to partner Lisandro Martinez in central defence, while there may also be a start for Casemiro in midfield.

The Brazilian still looks to be adapting to life at Old Trafford and the slower pace of European football may aid his bid to get up to top speed.

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Cristiano Ronaldo is also certain to be selected, while Anthony Martial could be in line for his first start of the season after netting twice late on to add some respectability to the scoreline at the Etihad.

Omonia look to have a clean bill of health and Lennon could field the likes of former Celtic pair Adam Matthews and Gary Hooper, as well as City academy graduate Brandon Barker.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored on his last Europa League appearance
Cristiano Ronaldo scored on his last Europa League appearance

The stats

United currently sit second in Europa League Group E on three points after losing their opening game against Real Sociedad and then bouncing back away at FC Sheriff.

Omonia sit bottom of the pool after two straight defeats and are looking to end a poor run in continental football, after failing to win any of their group stage matches in last season’s Europa Conference League.

In fact, the 21-time Cypriot champions have only ever won one group stage game in Europe, beating PAOK 2-1 in the Europa League in 2020.

After losing their opening fixture against Sheriff 3-0, they showed a bit more spark in their 2-1 defeat to Sociedad, with Brazilian Bruno scoring their goal.

That strike is part of a four-game run in which Bruno has scored and he is likely to carry his side’s main threat, although Hooper and Slovenian Tim Matavz do come with European pedigree.

United had won five of their previous six in all competitions prior to their defeat against City.

This is the first time the pair have ever met competitively and taking on Cypriot opposition means United have now faced teams from 34 different UEFA nations.

Prediction

Omonia come into the game in decent form following wins without conceding against Enosis and Doxa but the Red Devils are a number of steps above that calibre of opposition.

United had won their three away games prior to their embarrassment at the Etihad, keeping clean sheets in all of them.

Despite being likely to make changes, Ten Hag will expect his team to record another shutout at the GSP Stadium.