Manchester United have completed their main objective this season in ensuring Champions League qualification – but the focus must now switch to the Europa League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men begin the mini-tournament next week which is being played across four different venues in Germany in a condensed new format.
The Reds first have to negotiate the procession that is the last 16 tie against LASK at Old Trafford, who they hammered 5-0 in the first-leg.
Solskjaer’s first-team were visibly fatigued towards the end of the Premier League campaign and the starting XI against the weaker Austrian opposition at Old Trafford should be packed with peripheral and academy players.
It remains unclear how seriously Solskjaer will take this competition, with the Norwegian four games away from his first trophy as United boss.
Despite the obvious concerns around fitness, United have a great opportunity to go all the way if the most important players included, with Inter Milan, Roma and Wolves potentially the biggest threats left in the tournament.
United’s fixture schedule will feel demanding after a long and taxing season, which could make Solskjaer’s mind up on resting his key stars.
See the potential dates leading to a possible finale on August 21:
Second leg vs LASK at Old Trafford – August 5, 8pm (5-0 Aggregate)
Quarter-final vs Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksahir -August 10/11, 8pm
Semi finals – August 16, 8pm
Final – August 21, 8pm
It has already been revealed that the new Premier League season will start on September 12, giving United just a 23 day break before the new campaign if they reach the Europa League final.