FC Midtjylland vs. Manchester United, Europa League 2016: Where to Watch Live, Preview, Betting Odds

Manchester United plays FC Midtjylland on Thursday night in Herning, Denmark.
Manchester United's Morgan Schneiderlin (left) at MHC Arena, Herning, February 17, 2016. United plays FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday evening. Henning Bagger/AFP/Getty Images

The door to the UEFA Champions League is swinging, just about.

That is what the UEFA Europa League now means to Manchester United—a chance to right the wrongs of its faltering Premier League campaign and squeeze into the promised land next season.

The winner of the Europa League now gets a place in the Champions League, but the road is arduous. This is only the round of 32, and United must travel to Midtjylland, the side that knocked Southampton out of this competition so impressively in August. Midtjylland, famous for its implementation of 'Moneyball' tactics to build its squad, won the Danish Superliga in 2014-15 and will not be crushed easily.

Louis Van Gaal's side lands in Herning, Denmark, without Wayne Rooney, captain, leader, sometime inspiration. Rooney has knee ligament damage, which is a concern not just for Van Gaal, perennially under pressure, but also for England. He may have just a month back playing before the squad is named for Euro 2016.

That is one thing Van Gaal doesn't have to worry about, at least—his travails as an international manager with the Netherlands are in the past.

It is questionable whether Van Gaal will still be in gainful employment at Old Trafford next season. If he's not, slinking back into the Champions League would be a pretty little memento to cast a troubled reign in better light.

The Europa League is often cast as the dowdy younger sibling of European football's gleaming princess. For Van Gaal, it's the chance to leave a legacy.

Match information

Kick-off: 6 p.m. GMT

Location: MCH Arena, Herning

Odds: Manchester United is 8/13 with most bookmakers to win the first leg. A Midtjylland win is most common at 11/2, while you can get a draw at 29/10.

Where to watch

BT Sport 2 has build-up from 5.30 p.m. and the game itself live from 6 p.m. BT also has live streaming for subscribers on tablet, desktop and smartphone. Highlights are on BT Sport Europe on Friday at 11.15 p.m.