Manchester United host FC Copenhagen on Tuesday, with their Champions League prospects already dangling by a thread.
The Red Devils are bottom of Group A after losing both of their games so far, falling 4-3 to Bayern Munich in their opener before falling 3-2 to Galatasaray in front of their own fans the previous time out.
On paper, Tuesday’s match appears to be their simplest of the group stage and a great opportunity to get started, albeit Copenhagen do sit above their hosts in the group thanks to their point against Galatasaray on matchday one.
Regardless of the outcome, it will be an emotional moment at Old Trafford as Manchester United play their first home game since the passing of perhaps their greatest servant, Sir Bobby Charlton.
Sports Mole examines the head-to-head record of previous games between Manchester United and Copenhagen.
Previous meetings: 3
Man Utd wins: 2
Copenhagen wins: 1
The fourth meeting between these two sides will take place on Tuesday night, with Manchester United just barely edging over Copenhagen with two wins to Copenhagen’s one.
Because of the impact of COVID-19 on the football calendar, the decisive victory occurred in the quarter-final of the Europa League in August 202, which was a one-off game rather than a two-legged encounter.
The three-time European champions did, however, require extra time on that occasion, with Bruno Fernandes hitting the crucial penalty for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in Cologne, Germany.
The previous two Champions League meetings were in the 2006-07 group stage, and it came as no surprise when Man United easily defeated a Copenhagen side competing in the competition for the first time in the opening game at Old Trafford.
Paul Scholes started the scoring for a lineup that contained Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, before second-half goals from John O’Shea and Kieran Richardson clinched a comfortable victory.
The return match, however, was anything but conventional, with Copenhagen claiming a famous 1-0 victory – their first-ever in the Champions League – thanks to a 73rd-minute goal from former Aston Villa star Marcus Allback.
That is one of just two defeats Man United has ever suffered against Danish opposition in nine prior games, while it is Copenhagen’s lone win over English opposition in 13 attempts.
The Red Devils have won six of their nine such games and are unbeaten at home against Danish teams, having won three and drawn one of their four such encounters.
Copenhagen’s prospects are made worse by the fact that they are winless on English soil, having lost four and drawn two of their previous six visits.
The previous year, the Danish side held treble-bound Manchester City to a goalless draw in Copenhagen, but they have now failed to score in each of their previous six Premier League games and have lost seven of their 13 past meetings.
Aug 10, 2020: Man United 1-0 Copenhagen (Europa League quarter-final)
Nov 1, 2006: Copenhagen 1-0 Man United (Champions League group stage)
Oct 17, 2006: Man United 3-0 Copenhagen (Champions League group stage).