ManUtd.com takes a look at the dangermen for Wednesday night’s OT visitors…
2 Michael Jakobsen DEFENDER
Age 22 Nationality Danish Appearances 156 Goals 13
Victory over Celtic in their last Champions League game secured a place in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup. But the groundwork had already been done at Celtic Park on matchday one when Jakobsen, alongside Michael Beauchamp, stood rock-solid despite the intimidating environment. “I've never experienced a crowd like it,” he said. “I couldn't hear anything, it was so noisy!” Clearly the atmosphere got to the referee: he dismissed Beauchamp rather than Jakobsen for a professional foul on Georgios Samaras. A retrospective red card was (metaphorically) brandished, however, ruling Jakobsen out for United’s visit to Aalborg; doubtless, then, he’ll relish a crack at the Reds.
1 Karim Zaza GOALKEEPER
Age 33 Nationality Danish/Moroccan Appearances 54 Goals 0
After making his name at Odense, Zaza (originally a striker before picking up the gloves) has pocketed a trio of Danish Goalkeeper of the Year awards. The latter came after returning to his very first club, Brondby, but he was then deposed by rising star Casper Ankergren. After impressing in the 2nd Bundesliga with Rot-Weiss Essen, he’s making a decent fist of filling the boots, and gloves, of Aalborg legend Jimmy Nielsen.
23 Thomas Enevoldsen MIDFIELDER
Age 21 Nationality Danish Appearances 86 Goals 9
Last November at White Hart Lane, less than two minutes into Aalborg’s UEFA Cup clash with Spurs, Enevoldsen smashed the ball into the top corner (though the Londoners had the last laugh, with a second-half revival sparked by Dimitar Berbatov). And his sights are set on more goals – against United and in the UEFA Cup. “We have belief in ourselves to score against whoever we play,” he said. “The good results against Celtic and Villarreal have given us confidence."
18 Caca MIDFIELDER
Age 26 Nationality Brazilian Appearances 67 Goals 15
You’d expect a Brazilian to have a few tricks in his locker, and the audacious backheel that released Jeppe Curth to level matters against Villarreal a month ago ticked all the boxes. The midfielder (whose older brother Dede plays for Borussia Dortmund) was also instrumental in shattering Celtic’s European dream: his deflected shot sparked a turnaround on matchday five and edged the Bhoys off the European scene.
10 Marek Saganowski FORWARD
Age 30 Nationality Polish Appearances 22 Goals 4
An international striker with a touch of wanderlust (Denmark is the seventh he’s plied his trade), Saganowski is no stranger to English football. His previous port of call was Southampton, for whom he joined permanently in summer 2007 after a free-scoring five-month loan at St Mary’s. Last season, however, he failed to shine in front of goal – though he did make Poland’s squad at Euro 2008.