DATE AND TIME: 20:05 Thursday, 16th March 2017
CATCH IT ON: BT Sport 2. Live coverage starts at 19:30
United’s form has been a bit patchy of late with defeat at the Bridge following a run of 4 draws and 2 wins. But it has been easy sailing in Europe after a difficult start. Last week’s draw at Rostov ended a run of 4 consecutive wins.
Rostov are undefeated in the league since the 30th of November though they have only played three matches since. Of those three they have drawn 2 and won 1. In Europe, however, they have beaten Bayern Munich and PSV Eindhoven while earning a stalemate against Atletico Madrid. All these games have however come at home.
Anthony Martial and captain Wayne Rooney have been ruled out of the game by Jose Mourinho. The duo missed the loss at Chelsea. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera are available as domestic suspensions don’t apply in European fixtures. Meanwhile, Eric Bailly is set to return after being suspended in the previous match.
For the Russians, Aleksandr Gatskan and Timofei Kalachev are to miss out after collecting their second booking in the previous match.
United have won just 2 matches out of 10 against Russian opposition. They have drawn 7 and lost just once. The last time United drew 1-1 away in European knockout stage was against Real Madrid back in Sir Alex’s last season in charge. In last season’s Champions League campaign, United drew 1-1 with CSKA Moscow before nicking a 1-0 win the group stages. United faced CSKA again in the 2009-10 group stage, winning 1-0 away and drawing 3-3 at home.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE:
Gediminas Mažeika from Lithuania will be the man with the whistle on Thursday night. He has never previously officiated a United match though he did officiate the Inter-Southampton fixture. Inter came on top.
Dangerous teams like Roma and Lyon, Schalke and Borrusia Monchengladbach will drew each other in the round-of-16. Lyon take a 4-2 lead to Rome while its all to play for when G’bach host Schalke. The latter tie is evenly poised at 1-1. Elsewhere, Besiktas take on Olympiakos, Genk take on Gent, Ajax travel to Copenhagen, Celta Vigo travel to Krasnodar and finally Anderlect play APOEL.