Manchester United have a huge chance to solidify their chances of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, if they defeat RB Leipzig at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Unfortunately, that is a little harder than it sounds (or should be). United haven’t won a single game at home this season and will enter this match off the back of a draw, having shared the points with Chelsea in Saturday’s Premier League clash at home.
Leipzig have not suffered defeat in any competition since their 3-0 loss to PSG in last season’s Champions League semi-finals, and Julian Nagelsmann’s side will certainly be motivated to go one better this time around. The early leaders in the Bundesliga made no mistake in their opening Champions League game of the 2020-21 season as a double from Manchester City loanee Angelino saw Leipzig record a convincing 2-0 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir last Tuesday.
Wednesday’s game will be the first time that United and Leipzig have faced off, and the Bundesliga side did not even exist when United last lifted the Champions League in 2008.
Manchester United Team News
Don’t expect too many changes from the side that played PSG last week. David De Gea should be the keeper on record and will look to continue his newly found form going against Leipzig. United could very well opt for the three-man defense which worked wonders against PSG, which should see Axel Tuanzebe come back into the fold following his stellar performance against the French champions, with Harry Maguire due a rest.
There is plenty of competition for places in United’s midfield, with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic both waiting in the wings for their but Fred and Scott McTominay are in line to pair up once again. Forgotten signee, Donny van de Beek could also be in line for a starting nod as well. Anthony Martial is eligible to play, but if his scoring drought continues, expect Cavani to possibly get more playing time or an opportunity to start.
Leipzig are not so lucky on the injury front as Nagelsmann’s defense has been decimated by the losses of Marcel Halstenberg, Lukas Klostermann, and Nordi Mukiele – the latter of whom was forced off in the weekend victory over Hertha.
Benjamin Henrichs is likely to fill the void on the right-hand side of defense in Mukiele’s absence, while Sabitzer should be fit enough to make the starting XI for this one. However, Nagelsmann is rather short of options in midfield as Konrad Laimer, Amadou Haidara, and Tyler Adams are all out.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Maguire, Shaw, Telles, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial/Cavani