In the Europa League, Manchester United faces LASK last-16 – but who are they? We portray the leaders of the Austrian League.
The UEFA ranking cannot have been improved by the clubs being pulled out of their hats for the next round of the Europa League competition.
Non-stop LASK has been ranked 103rd by UEFA with 93 positions ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in a position.
- LASK UEFA classification: 103
- Position at home: first in the Austrian League
- How did you arrive here: AZ Alkmaar beat the winners in Group D 3-1 on last year’s total 32
- Best of all, before UEFA Cup/Europe League: 32 (1984/85, 1985/86)
Last season, runners to Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga, following a terrible run that saw the LASK demoted to second level, are competing in UEFA for the first time since 2000.
In 2017 the club gained the promotion to the Bundesliga and became a prominent national force. This season the club ranked top in this rostrum under Manager Valerien Ismael.
The winner has taken over their European performance by finished top of Group D on the Europa League Group stage with an amazing performance to overcome the two European heavyweights at home with a 7-1 score against PSV and Sporting Lisbon.
In the last 32, AZ Alkmaar was overcome 3-1 on two legs.
Who is LASK’s coach?
Bundesliga fans will get to know Valerien Ismael, LASK Manager who in the 2000’s played for Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and Hannover.
In 1998 the Frenchman was their club-record-signing, but it only lasted 10 months in Selhurs Park before he entered Lens, which he also suffered a pretty unsuccessful heartbeat.
Ismael spent spells as head coach at Nurnberg and Wolfsburg while, before resigning owing to conflicts with the club president, he lasted just one game in command of Apollo Smyrnis in 2018.
In May 2019, LASK appointed Ismail and guided them successfully to an unfamiliar area of the last 16 competition after losing Club Brugge in the Champion League playoffs in the group round of the Europe League.
“Manchester United is one of the top teams in the world. Ismael says on the club’s official website ahead of his United. In front of us is an unbelievable highlight.
“We expect this responsibility and are going to be very well prepared to do so. Our main goal for the first stage is to give the return match a favourable starting position!”
The main threat of the LASK goal is 21-year-old Marko Raguz, who scores five targets in a series of eight games of the Europa League, all three of which won 3-1 over AZ Alkmaar in the last round.
Raguz has scored four of his five goals from Open Play, three right foot and one left, and turned a sentence against AZ on Thursday night, a rangy striker with a strong pace and shot.
Similarly well-received is LASK’s 24-year old goalkeeper Alexander Schlager who has 13 clean bills for his international debut in its Euro 2020 qualifier this season with Northern Macedonia in November.
Reinhold Ranftl, who supplied three supports and one scored from a right rear role in the LASK standart 3/4-3 training group, must also be kept in touch with United
For all of us who follow the Bundesliga, who played for Werder Bremen, Bavaria Munich and Hanaver in 1996, the name Valerien Ismael will undoubtedly be a bell.
Fans of Crystal Palace of a certain age, however not too lovingly — he signed a club record in 1998 but only performed 13 times when the team was relegated to Premier League from 1997-98.
Ismael had his greatest years in Germany and he also cut his managing teeth, taking stints in the reserve clubs of Hannover and Wolfsburg and top posts in Nurnberg and the latter.