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United’s goal is clear – defeat Shakhtar Donetsk for place in final 16
MANCHESTER United’s under 18s team will need to defeat Shakhtar Donetsk at Leigh Sports Village on Monday in order to progress in the UEFA Youth League.
The competition, with group stages mirroring those of the senior sides in the Champions League, sees United sitting in third spot in Group A needing a win to finish as runners up to Real Sociedad for a place in the last 16.
United, coached by club legends Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, have won two and lost three of their five games so far, their latest result being a 3-1 fall to group foot holders Leverkusen in Germany last Wednesday.
Leverkusen are the only side United have beaten on home soil so far, a 4-3 opening-round success at Salford City Stadium in September.
They lost at Salford 1-0 to the table toppers and 2-1 against Shakhtar Donetsk at RSC Olympiyskiy Stadium in Ukraine, while their away triumph came against Real Sociedad in match four.
So now, all eyes are on Leigh Sports Village and the all-important sixth and final group game for the future of Manchester United on Monday, kick off 7pm.
A key player for United is likely to be striker James Wilson, who is already familiar with the LSV surroundings.
The 18-year-old England under 19s international from Biddulph, the Reds’ top scorer in the UEFA Youth League with five goals, fired the nail into Blackburn Rovers’ coffin on Monday night when the two clubs met in the Barclays Under 21 Premier League.
Although it was former Crystal Palace attacker Wilfred Zaha who netted the first goal and was the inspiration behind United’s 2-0 success in front of 1,553 supporters, Wilson blasted in a 20-yard free kick in the 76th minute to make sure the points went back to Old Trafford.
Current United sensation Adnan Januzaj is eligible to play in the game.
The 18-year-old has broken into the Red Devils first team this season, with six appearances so far, and has been shortlisted for the BBC’s young sports personality of the year award.
Tickets for Monday’s game are £3, with under 16s and Manchester United season ticket holders having free entry.
l For more information or to buy tickets visit leighsportsvillage .co.uk/tickets or call 01942 487830.
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