Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has ominously predicted that Erik ten Hag’s side will not qualify from their Champions League group. The Red Devils have already suffered two European defeats this season, making their task of reaching the last-16 incredibly tough.
United are currently third in Group A after a win and two defeats in the Champions League. Victory over Copenhagen on Wednesday could put them in a more commanding position ahead of tough fixtures against Bayern Munich and Galatasaray.
Ten Hag’s team narrowly defeated the Danish outfit in the reverse clash at Old Trafford. But Scholes remains worried that the squad’s fragility in away games will see them dumped out in the group stage for the fourth time in their last nine Champions League campaigns.
Trips to Copenhagen on Wednesday and Galatasaray on November 29 could therefore be vital. Both clubs are known for creating hostile atmospheres inside their home venues.
Asked if United will reach the last-16, Scholes told TNT Sports: “If I was a betting man, I’d say no. They showed last year they’re frail in away games, you think of Sevilla away. It was a brilliant atmosphere, it was hostile, they crumbled, they couldn’t handle it.”
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The ex-midfielder added: “It makes me worry about going to Copenhagen, who aren’t a brilliant team but they’re organised. I don’t know if there’s the character and fighters in that team to be able to cope with a big atmosphere.
“It’s so hard going to Copenhagen, these European away games are tough. If they make it a hostile atmosphere, you have to worry about the frailty of Manchester United – they could really crumble under that pressure.”
The harmony of United’s dressing room has come into question following successive home defeats by Manchester City and Newcastle. However, Ten Hag insists that the team spirit was evident in last weekend’s victory over Fulham.
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“I am pleased with the spirit of the team and with the way we pressed,” the Dutchman said after the 1-0 victory on Saturday.
“We saw [a stoppage-time winner] against Brentford and we have seen it again. It is a good resilience. They know what the standards are. This is Manchester United – you have to win every game.
“This week we have not been happy with the standards and today we improved with our standards. Every game we have to bring the battle which starts with the right mentality and attitude, to show you are hungry with passion and desire.”
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