Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is excited about the new condensed format of the Europa League after learning Manchester United’s fate for the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the competition.
United will face either FC Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksehir in the next round of the competition that will be played in Cologne, Germany.
Solskjaer’s men are all but in the quarter-finals of the competition after defeating LASK 5-0 in the first leg which turned out to be the last game they played before the coronavirus suspension.
The Reds will face the Austrian side at Old Trafford in the second-leg, with the rest of the games in the competition being played at a neutral venue.
If United negotiate FC Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksehir in the following round, they will face Wolves, Roma, Sevilla or Olympiakos in the semi-finals.
There is then the prospect of a final against Inter Milan, who will have ex-Reds Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young within their ranks.
Unsurprisingly, Solskjaer is not looking too far ahead with games coming thick and fast as United look to secure a top four finish in the Premier League.
“Well, I don’t want to look too far because I just think we should focus on the next game,” Solskjaer told United’s official site.
“We’re in a position now where we’re just focusing on the league but of course, when you look at the ties that can come – we could play Wolves, we could meet Ashley [Young] and Romelu [Lukaku, both of Inter] so there’s definitely games to be looking forward to and we just have to keep on our run.
“Hopefully we can go through to the quarter-finals but again, as we said, it’s about finishing off the LASK tie first.”
The new format of the Europa League means games from the quarter-finals onwards will played over one-leg, rather than the traditional two-leg knockout fixtures.
This competition provides United arguably their best chance to win silverware this season, with Chelsea and Man City/Arsenal standing in the way of FA Cup glory.
And Solskjaer is excited about the prospect of a ‘mini tournament’ to end the season in Germany.
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s like a mini tournament,” he said.
“I’ve been involved in a European Championship and a World Cup so we’ll be living tight together abroad and we’ve got some staff here that have been involved in those kinds of tournaments so we’ll prepare really well and hopefully we can last more than just the one game.
“I look on it the opposite way in that I think we’re playing well and getting to a high level and standard of football, and hopefully we can just carry that on into Europe and into next season.”