FC Midtjylland chairman says his team have a 'chance' of beating Manchester United

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Football News

On the day that the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League was made, Manchester United were waiting to find out their fate in the last 32 of the Europa League.

It turns out that, rather than a glamour tie against Real Madrid or Barcelona and the glamour of Europe's elite club competition, the Red Devils can look forward to a date with: FC Midtjylland.

The Danish team aren't to be sniffed at, mind; they won their first ever league title last year and banished Southampton from the Europa League earlier on this season - all using the 'Moneyball' approach. Liverpool, take note.

There's plenty of reasons for Manchester United to worry too; they've lost back-to-back games against Wolfsburg, which sent them into Europe's secondary competition in the first place, and Bournemouth which leaves them five points adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal.

FC Midtjylland's chairman, Rasmus Ankersen, has seemingly been keeping a close eye on Louis van Gaal's struggles at Old Trafford, and certainly seemed to be in a confident mood following the draw in Nyon.

"We've beat an English team already this season with Southampton, so here's another big challenge for us and we're ready to take it on," he said.

When asked about the difference between his club's philosophy of unearthing hidden gems using statistical analysis and Manchester United's lavish spending, he added: "We're a small club with a small budget, we can't win by out-spending the competition - so we have to out-think them.

"That's why we've been successful in competing in this competition so far. There's not a huge chance of us beating Manchester United, but there's a chance. The win against Southampton gives the players te belief they can do it again.

Midtjylland came in second in their Europa League group behind Napoli, who beat the Danish minnows twice, with an aggregate score of 9-1.

Do you think Manchester United will take the Europa League seriously this season?

Europa League
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney

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