Manchester United are looking to make it back to back wins in the Champions League as we welcome RB Leipzig on Wednesday night. We started the campaign with a fine performance and a 2-1 win in the opening fixture against PSG.
We come into this match on the back 0-0 draw against fellow top four contenders in the league against Chelsea. In what was largely a drab affair, it was both defences that came out on top.
United created decent chances for themselves with Marcus Rashford coming close on two occasions. It felt at times we lacked urgency in our attack as Ole told MUTV that having fans inside the stadium could have helped the team.
Given have not won a game at Old Trafford this season, the positive take into the RB Leipzig game is that we kept a clean sheet and are hoping to continue that. We will want to create a few more attacking opportunities as we look to secure another victory in the Champions League.
We claimed all three points at the Parc des Princes, thanks to goals from Fernandes and Rashford. Though we were not able to follow up this victory with another against Chelsea.
Within United, there is more optimism. We have five wins from the last seven in all competitions. Winning against our German opponents would put us in a strong position in the group, as well as boosting the moral amongst the United faithful.
The current Bundesliga leaders will no doubt be having similar thoughts in gaining the victory over us. RB Leipzig have hit a good run of form not losing in any competitions since the 3-0 defeat in last season’s Champions League semi-finals. They will have extra motivation to do even better this time round.
They began their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir with goals Manchester City loanee Angelino. Their form continued at the weekend following a 2-1 victory over Hertha Berlin.
The United faithful will be keen to see defender Dayot Upamecano in action having been linked with him in the summer transfer window.
The game will be first time that both sides have met as Leipzig did not not even exist when United last lifted the trophy in 2008.
Teams: Manchester United vs RB Leipzig
Date: October 28th 2020 (Wednesday)
KO Time: 20:00 BST
Competition: Champions League
Stadium: Old Trafford
Referee: Slavko Vincic
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Julian Nagelsmann
United Team News
On the sidelines currently out with injury are Phil Jones (knee), Eric Bailly (Muscle) and Jesse Lingard (knock). Jones is not in either the Premier League or Champions League squads this season due to this long term injury.
The expected return of Bailly is likely to be towards the end of next month. Lingard did not travel to PSG due to a knock and was subsequently absent for the Chelsea game could be available to make the match day squad.
Anthony Martial suspension for the league games does not apply in Europe and will be available to feature in the Champions League tie.
Solskjær could well revert to a back three just like for the PSG game, which could see Axel Tuanzebe return to the side after his impressive display last week.
Ole may decide not to play Fernandes and Rashford from the start given the visit of Arsenal at the weekend and it could see new signing Edinson Cavani and Donny Van De Beek making the starting eleven. Competitions for places in the midfield is hotting up with both Pogba and Matic both waiting in the wings but Ole could given starts again to McTominay and Fred.
Pre-Match Press Conference
The pre-match press conference, Ole was asked about building on last week’s victory against PSG, “Well, we look at every game as a chance to get three points and in the group stage with four teams, you’d think 10 points would get you through. Of course, to get to 10 points as quickly as we possibly can is our aim. Now it’s our sole focus on the three points tomorrow night.”
Ole was inevitably asked about Van De Beek. He said, “When players come into a new league, there is always going to be a time of adapting.
The press conference also saw Ole asked what challenges do RB Leipzig present. He said “I know Julian [Nagelsmann] is very adaptable; he’s capable of putting teams up in different formations, but the style is always there. The style is always one to dominate; it’s high tempo, high pressure.”
RB Leipzig Team News
On the injury front, RB Leipzig are currently have a number of players out especially in defence. Marcel Halstenberg, Lukas Klostermann and Nordi Mukiele will not feature in the tie.
With the absence of Mukiele, Benjamin Henrichs will fill the role at the right side of the defence. Julian Nagelsmann does not have many options in midfield either as Konrad Laimer, Amadou Haidara and Tyler Adams are out.
Manchester United Champions League form: W
Manchester United form (all competitions): WWLWWD
RB Leipzig Champions League form: W
RB Leipzig form (all competitions): WDWWWW
- United vs RB Leipzig will be the first meeting between the teams in a Champions League fixture.
- The last time Manchester United played German opposition was in 2015 in which they were kicked out of the Champions League after a 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg
- Manchester United have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six Champions League games
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles, Pogba, Matic, Van De Beek, Fernandes, Rashford and Martial.
United are brimming with confidence with victory over PSG in the opening game. We will want to gain another three points in pursuit of getting out of the Champions League group stages.
There needs to be more urgency in our attacking play as at times against Chelsea, we lacked this. RB Leipzig will prove a threat giving their recent form, it will be a close game but I think we can secure the all important victory.
Predicted Score: Manchester United 2-1 RB Leipzig