Red Bull Leipzig will lock horns with Manchester United at Old Trafford in a Group H fixture of Champions League 20-21. United will be certainly looking to make it back to back victories to the start of their campaign. But this time it won’t be an easy task as far as Leipzig’s form in their German football League is concerned. They are currently unbeaten at the top of the Bundesliga points table. They also had a breakthrough season finishing 3rd spot in League table. And made it to semi-final of UCL 19/20 for the very first time.
Manchester United have opened their challenge on an imposing note defeating Paris Saint Germain 2-1 at Le Parc des Princes in a tough group. United will approach this match off the back of a goal-less draw, courtesy of two excellent saves by Edouard Mendy to deny Rashford and Mata. Having shared the points with The Blues in Saturday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford. On the other hand RB Leipzig beat 10-man Hertha Berlin 2-1 on Saturday in the Bundesliga. Currently they have a better 1v1 performance index scoring 12 goals so far whereas Manchester United has a total of 9 goals.
The English based club are still searching for their first home win of the season. There is every chance of a nice battle on the cards when they welcome RB Leipzig at home. Julian Nagelsmann’s side have started their UCL journey on a high note with a convincing win over Istanbul Basaksehir on last Tuesday. Both the sides have begun well in the competition and a close match is expected.
Manchester United’s tactical game-plan
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have stick to his 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-1-2 formation Alex Telles and Wan-Bissaka as the wing-backs. The Norwegian do have a positive record with a 3-4-1-2 formation in the last encounter. This will provide more positional fluidity and playing out from the back against a strong looking Leipzig side. Martial is not really in Midas touch so far in this season. The Frenchman may not be the perfect player to feature in starting XI. He has just managed 85% pass success with 0.4 aerials won. The Uruguayan International can be great tactical move in for OGS in the center-forward position with Rashford. He nearly scored his first goal for United with his first touch when he flicked the ball in but unfortunately found the side-netting.
Tuanzebe, Lindelof and Maguire may be the perfect players at the back three. Maguire and Tuanzebe looked really solid in their last respective matches are likely in the list of Solskjaer. Former Manchester City left-back Angelino is currently in red-hot form, already scored 4 goals in 6 matches across all competition. He has been an integral part of the side with 76% pass accuracy. Christopher Nkunku has been the quality winger & well known for his delicious crosses. Poulsen and Forsberg are among the top list performers for RB Leipzig. Even though they will miss Timo Werner who went to play Chelsea on a five year contract. They still have a strong frontline and may be enough to beat United’s defence if they don’t really look solid right from the start. The Lindelof who had a superb game against Chelsea, will have another tough and busy day at the office.
Options for Manchester United in the mid-field
Juan Mata has been the natural playmaker for United. He will be a key addition to the mid-field with Fernandes and Rashford if Ole wants to play in 4-2-3-1 formation. In this case Cavani will have to be the sole striker for us. Donny Van de Beek who is recognized as one of the potential midfielders is yet to start for United. Greenwood should be in the starting lineup if it is not the Spaniard veteran. James would not be the idle option for OGS. He has not been in great touch over the past few months either.
RB Leipzig’s defence looks strong enough too with the likes of Upamecano who was heavily linked with United in this summer transfer window and Henrichs. However RB have a few injury issues as well. Young and agile midfielder Tyler Adams and defender Halstenberg are possibly not available. Its going to be one of those nights where both the teams would be desperate enough to break the shackles. The fans are surely going to witness a evenly poised UCL match.