Manchester United is looking to secure their spot in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League as we take on RB Leipzig in the final game of the group stages. We are currently level on nine points with second place Leipzig and third place PSG. It is promising to be a tense finale to Group H as we just need to avoid defeat at the Red Bull Arena on Tuesday evening to progress.
United got themselves into a fantastic position in the group after getting back to back wins against PSG away and Leipzig at home during the first two group games. This was followed by a dreadful performance as we were defeated 2-1 by Istanbul Basaksehir.
We returned to winning ways in the reverse fixture as we thrashed Basaksehir 4-1 at Old Trafford. However, a 3-1 defeat to PSG last week has left us work to do in the final game. As mentioned, United will go through if we avoid defeat. If we secure all three points or even a draw and PSG do not pick up all three points against Basaksehir, then we will go through as group winners.
United have won the last four of five games in all competitions. We produce another comeback on Saturday as we defeated West Ham 3-1 after conceding the first goal. This victory meant it was our ninth away league win in a row.
We have a big game come the weekend in the Premier League at Old Trafford as we take on our rivals and neighbours Manchester City. United cannot simply look beyond RB Leipzig as we seek to reach the knockout rounds of Europe’s elite competition.
RB Leipzig reached the semi-finals of the competition last season before being knocked out by eventual runners up PSG. Leipzig is currently competing in just their third group stage campaign.
Leipzig began this season’s Champions League campaign with a 2-0 victory against Istanbul Basaksehir before being thrashed 5-0 away at United. They recover from the defeat to pick up the victory at home to PSG but then lost the reverse fixture in Paris.
The last game against Basaksehir saw Leipzig secure a 4-3 victory thanks to a late goal from Alexander Sorloth. Leipzig are coming into this final game having drawn 3-3 against Bayern Munch in the league. They can reach the knockout stages if they were to beat us or even with a draw if PSG failed to get a result against Basaksehir.
RB Leipzig vs Manchester United Match Details
Teams: RB Leipzig vs Manchester United
Date: December 8th, 2020 (Tuesday)
KO Time: 20:00 BST
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Stadium: Red Bull Arena
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Julian Nagelsmann
Manchester United Team News
Ole confirmed in the pre-match conference that both Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial will miss the RB Leipzig game after both picked up knocks during the West Ham game.
Fred will not feature in the final group game after he picked a red card against PSG in the previous match. This may see Paul Pogba retain his place in the midfield alongside Scott McTominay.
Alex Telles will continue at left back as Luke Shaw is still not ready following his hamstring injury with Wan-Bissaka at right back. David De Gea missed the game against West Ham with a knee issue but is likely to come back into the side on Tuesday night.
Pre-Match Press Conference
The pre-match press conference saw Ole asked about the recent comeback wins, and the character of the team. He said, “Yeah, we’ve shown great character obviously to come from behind in all these away games this season in the Premier League. We need the character, the spirit, the confidence going into the game tomorrow against Leipzig, a team that is very good at home, but we’ve got great belief in ourselves that we can go there and get the result required to go through to the knock-out stages. That’s what we’re aiming to do.“
Harry Maguire who joined Ole in the press conference was asked about why United has been so inconsistent this season. He said, “In terms of results in the Premier League, they have been consistent of late so we’re not really focused on the inconsistency. I think that obviously, you might be talking about falling behind and coming from behind, but apart from the West Ham game, where, in the first half, we didn’t play well enough, we’ve actually started the games really well.“
Ole was asked by a member of the media, how much of a factor is it that you only need a point in this game? He said, “Well, I think you have to approach the game as a 90-minute game. You know that anything can happen in any moment, so you can’t sit back and hope for a 0-0 draw. That’s not in our genes. It’s not in the team’s genes, it’s not in the club’s genes. We want to go out and win the game of football. I think we showed that against PSG, that we wanted to go out and create chances. You have to create chances to score goals and we’ll do that again.”
RB Leipzig Team News
For our opponents RB Leipzig will be without a number of players including Lukas Klostermann, Fabrice Hartmann, Konrad Laimer, Benjamin Henrichs and Hwang Hee-chan. We can expect to see Dani Olmo, Emil Forsberg and Yussuf Poulsen in the starting eleven.
Julian Nagelsmann will have options of deploying Justin Kluivert and Alexander Sorloth or both in the attacking positions. Dayot Upamecano who remains linked with moves away from Leipzig should line up alongside Ibrahima Konate in the centre of defence.
Manchester United Champions League form: LWWLWL
Manchester United form (all competitions): WWWWLW
RB Leipzig Champions League form: LWLWLW
RB Leipzig form (all competitions): WDLWWD
- Marcus Rashford is the joint leading scorer in this season’s UEFA Champions League with six goals along with Juventus’s Alvaro Morata and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland.
- The last time Manchester United faced German opposition in the group stages of the Champions League, they were relegated to the Europa League on Matchday 6 by Wolfsburg after winning at home on Matchday 2.
- RB Leipzig are the only side not to score against Manchester United in their last ten Champions League games.
- There are six scenarios out of the nine possible in which Manchester United can qualify from the Champions League.
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes, Mata, Rashford, Greenwood
RB Leipzig vs Manchester United Prediction
United are just ninety minutes away from securing our spot in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. The tie is our own hands and we know we only need to avoid defeat. It will be a nervy game as both sides will not want to make mistakes that lead to exiting the competition and drop down into the Europa League by finishing third within Group H.
We have shown recently our fighting spirit as we have come back in a number of games to secure victories. If we were to concede an early goal, then United shouldn’t need panic. We have more than enough quality in the squad to get the win on Tuesday night.
RB Leipzig 1-2 Manchester United