Apparently, if a team gets knocked out of the Champions League, they don't get to spend to the rest of the season cursing what might have been and taking midweek holidays. No, they get bounced down into something called the "Europa League", and today we learned that Manchester United will play FC Midtjylland in the round of 32.
What do we know about Midtjylland? Not a huge amount, if we're being honest. We know that they've never played Manchester United. We know that they knocked Southampton out of the qualifying rounds of the Europa League. We know that they finished second behind Napoli in the group stage, two points ahead of United's old friends Club Brugge. And, finally, we know that they've recently begun integrating advanced analytics into their operations. Presumably that will excite some of you.
The away game will be played first, on 18th February, and the return leg will come a week later on the 25th. There's a potential FA Cup fifth round game over the weekend of the 20th, and then on the 27th comes the visit of Arsenal. Presumably that'll get bumped back a day or two.
Anyway, how would you like to see United approach the Europa League? Treat it as a secondary competition, play the kids (well, the kids that aren't in the first team de to injuries), and take any progress as something of a bonus? Or recognise that it, along with the FA Cup, is probably United's best chance of silverware, and take it as seriously as possible? It is, after all, the only major trophy that United have never won ...
UPDATE: This is fairly adorable.
FURTHER UPDATE: According to BT Sport's panel of experts, Midtjylland are very dangerous from set pieces. Oh God.