After a disappointing weekend, Manchester United will be looking to bounce back strongly when they face off against BSC Young Boys in the Champions League.
Manchester United have a great chance to book their place in the knockout stages of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League, when they welcome Swiss champions BSC Young Boys to the Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
Jose Mourinho’s men currently occupy the second spot in Group H, having beaten leaders Juventus 2-1 last time out in Europe. And a victory against the Swiss outfit this week should be enough to confirm their progression to the next round, provided Valencia fail to win against Juventus in the other group game.
The last time these two sides met, Manchester United emerged victorious 3-0. However, coming into the game on the back of a limp performance in the goalless draw against Crystal Palace on Saturday, the Red Devils will want to bounce back with a commanding display on Tuesday night.
BSC Young Boys remain rooted to the bottom of Group H, having managed to earn just one point from their four fixtures. In their previous European fixture, Gerardo Seoane’s side were handed a 3-1 defeat by Valencia, but have recovered from that beating, with back to back wins in the Swiss Super League.
Going against Manchester United, despite the Premier League outfit’s recent struggles, will be a huge task and the Swiss league leaders will be hoping to cause on upset on Tuesday at the Old Trafford.
Team News & Tactics
Centre-back Victor Lindelof is the latest injury concern for the home team, after the Swedish international picked up a knock during the Crystal Palace game. Summer signing Diogo Dalot also remains a major doubt for Manchester United. They will, however, be able to welcome back Luke Shaw into the fold, after the Englishman missed the league game due to suspension.
David De Gea is a guaranteed starter in goal for the Red Devils. Antonio Valencia is unlikely to feature from the start once again, with Ashley Young expected to continue in his stead at right-back, with Shaw coming back into the team on the opposite side. Chris Smalling should keep his place at the heart of the defence and is likely to be paired up with forgotten man Eric Bailly.
Despite Nemanja Matic’s struggles, Mourinho continues to prefer the Serbian in the middle of the park and he is likely to feature once again from the kick off on Tuesday. Ander Herrera did not start against Palace, but is expected to come into the lineup, with Paul Pogba set to complete the midfield triumvirate for United.
Upfront, Romelu Lukaku is expected to hold on to his spot as the focal point of the attack ahead of Marcus Rashford. In-form man Anthony Martial set to start out on the left flank, while Jesse Lingard should start again out on the right side. No place for Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez in the side.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): De Gea; Young, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Lingard, Lukaku, Martial;
BSC Young Boys
Sekou Sanogo is suspended for the visitors, having been sent off against Valencia last time out. Gregory Wuthrich is unavailable due to a thigh injury, while Jordan Lotomba also continues to be sidelined with a knee problem. Guillaume Hoarau and Pedro Teixeira are major doubts to be involved for Seoane’s side on Tuesday night.
The Swiss champions are expected to line up in a 4-4-2 formation at the Old Trafford, with David von Ballmoos lining up between the sticks. Switzerland international Kevin Mbabu is a shoo-in at right-back, while Loris Benito should feature out on the left side of the defence. Sandro Lauper and captain Steve von Bergen will start at the centre.
With Sanogo suspended, Leonardo Bertone is expected to take his place in the midfield. He should be partnered up with Djibril Sow in the centre of the park. Out on the right wing, Christian Fassnacht will offer a threat to the United defence, while Miralem Sulejmani, who scored this past weekend, will look to carry on in the same vein of form on Tuesday.
With Hoarau injured, Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu is expected get the nod at the top of the attack, alongside Ivory Coast forward Roger Assale.
Probable Starting XI (4-4-2): von Ballmoos; Mbabu, Lauper, von Bergen, Benito; Fassnacht, Sow, Bertone, Sulejmani; Ngamaleu, Assale;
- Manchester United are winless in their last three Champions League home games (D1 L2). In all European competitions, they’ve never gone four without a win at Old Trafford.
- Excluding qualifiers, Young Boys are winless in nine away games in European competition (D4 L5), since a 3-1 win against Slovan Bratislava in the 2014-15 Europa League.
- Manchester United have failed to score in two consecutive home games in European competition for just the third time in their history – they’ve never gone three without a goal. Their current goalless run stands at 186 minutes, since Romelu Lukaku scored vs Sevilla in March.
- Young Boys have the lowest shot conversion rate in the Champions League this season, converting just two of their 53 total shots (4%).
- Romelu Lukaku has scored five goals in his three previous appearances against Young Boys, with all five coming in his two games against them for Everton in the 2014-15 Europa League.
Player to Watch
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Manchester United’s club record signing had a hand in all three goals when the Red Devils faced Young Boys earlier this season, scoring two goals and assisting one more. The 25-year-old has netted five times in total this season and has set up four more in 16 matches across all competitions, but continues to underwhelm when his team needs him the most.
The World Cup winner put in an extremely disappointing display in the goalless draw against Crystal Palace on Saturday, failing to have any sort of impact on the proceedings. He will need to step up in a big way on Tuesday, if United are to end up victorious.
Manchester United 2-0 BSC Young Boys
Manchester United have been found wanting big time this term – having won just three of their nine games at Old Trafford in all competitions so far in 2018-19. After another underwhelming display at the weekend, they will be gunning to get back to winning ways with an authoritative display at home.
BSC Young Boys, on the other hand, while going strong in domestic competitions, have struggled to translate that form into the European competition. The Swiss champions have scored just two goals in their four group matches, while conceding 10 times.
In what is a crucial game for Manchester United, they shouldn’t have much problem to dispose off the goal-shy Young Boys’ side and take a big step towards qualifying to the knockout stages of the competition.