Southampton’s Shane Long anticipates tough Midtjylland test

Southampton Shane Long

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Shane Long is refusing to under-estimate Southampton’s Europa League opponents FC Midtjylland.

The Danish side won their domestic league for the first time in their history last season during which they won 15 games in a row at their home ground – the MCH Arena.

Saints completed a 5-0 aggregate success against Vitesse in the previous round while Midtjylland dropped into the Europa League after being beaten by the Cypriot side APOEL in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.

Former Reading, West Brom and Hull City striker Long is determined to enjoy a long run in Europe and is keen to bounce back following the 3-0 home defeat to Everton in the Premier League at the weekend.

The 28-year-old Republic of Ireland international said before the first leg of the Europa League play-off between the two clubs: “It would be a shame to do so well last season, put yourself in this sort of position and qualify for Europe and not make the most of it.

“It’s a challenging competition, playing Thursdays and Sundays but we’ve got a lot of players in now.

“Thursday night is going to be a tough test for us, but I’m sure we can do the job. I think they’re top of the league in Denmark the last time I looked and obviously are going to be a good side.”

Southampton are 1.33 to beat FC Midtjylland, while a victory for the Danish side at St Mary’s is available at 11.00 and the draw is 5.00.

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