Manchester United's Astana trip sees hosts receive over 300,000 ticket applications

Manchester United's Europa League clash with FC Astana in Kazakhstan has seen the host club receive over 300,000 ticket applications -- 10 times more than the 30,254 capacity of the Astana Arena.

With United having already secured progression from Group L and Astana unable to qualify, the Thursday fixture has now become little more than an opportunity for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to rest key players ahead of Sunday's Old Trafford encounter with Aston Villa.

But sources told ESPN FC that FC Astana have been overwhelmed by interest in a game that is regarded as the biggest in the club's history.

The Kazakhstan champions have faced Celtic, Benfica and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League in recent seasons, but a source told ESPN FC that Astana "could have sold out 10 times over due to the demand to see United."

Astana also received applications from China, which borders Kazakhstan and has over 100 million United fans, according to the Premier League club.

Although the trip to Astana, which was renamed Nur-Sultan in March 2019 in honour of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev, will give fans in Central Asia a rare opportunity to see United in competitive action, Solskjaer's squad will lack big names.

Paul Pogba -- who was ranked the No. 6 midfielder in ESPN FC 100 -- remains sidelined with a foot injury, and Solskjaer is preparing to hand opportunities to United's youngsters for the game.

United began their Europa League group campaign in September with a 1-0 victory over Astana at Old Trafford.