Manchester United will be looking to end their UEFA Champions League group stage campaign on a winning note when they face BSC Young Boys this week.
Manchester United will be gunning for revenge when they welcome Swiss giants BSC Young Boys to Old Trafford on Wednesday night for their final 2021/22 UEFA Champions League Group F fixture.
Manchester United began their Champions League journey with a shock 2-1 defeat against Young Boys back in September. However, they recovered well from that loss, drawing against Villarreal in their next fixture, before registering three wins in a row to seal progression to the knockout stages of the competition, doing so as the group winners, following their 2-0 win over Villarreal late last month.
Now under the management of Ralf Rangnick, the Red Devils picked up a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace in the German tactician’s first game in charge and will be aiming to build upon it with another victory on Wednesday night.
Young Boys are rooted to the bottom of Group F with just four points from five games so far. The Swiss outfit have no chance of making it through to the knockout stages but can still finish third and enter the UEFA Europa League as they are just two points below Atalanta in third.
A win for David Wagner’s side, coupled with La Dea losing to Villarreal in the other group game, could land them in the Last-32 stages of the Europa League. However, with just one victory in their last eight fixtures across all competitions, Young Boys do not have form on their side and will need to play out of their skins to grab three points at Old Trafford.
Team News & Tactics
Manchester United welcomed Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani to training on Tuesday. However, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial remain unavailable with injuries while Phil Jones is not registered in the Champions League squad.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 7, 2021
Ralf Rangnick has hinted that he will make several changes to the team that took the field against Crystal Palace over the weekend, with the identity of three of the starters already confirmed. Dean Henderson is set to replace David de Gea in goal, making what will be just his second appearance of the season, while Donny van de Beek is certain to feature in the middle of the park as well.
Nemanja Matic is also set for a starting berth and will, in fact, be captaining the team, which could mean that both Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes are unlikely to be involved from kickoff on Wednesday. He should pair up with Scott McTominay in the deep midfield roles in Rangnick’s 4-2-2-2 setup.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and the returning Shaw should make up the four-person defensive unit, although youngster Teden Mengi could be in contention to feature. There will be added pressure on Wan-Bissaka and Shaw to perform after having seen Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles impress heavily in recent games.
Lingard, who has been starved of game-time, should get the nod as one of the two No. 10s in the attacking third, alongside Van de Beek. The onus will be on them to create the chances for the team going forward. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford will be given a breather, with Mason Greenwood and Anthony Elanga likely to feature as the two forwards, with Amad Diallo an option on the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-2-2-2): Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Matic; Lingard, van de Beek; Greenwood, Elanga
Ulisses Garcia has been ruled out of action for the visitors. At the same time, the likes of David von Ballmoos, Christian Fassnacht, Felix Mambibi, Jean-Pierre Nsame, Joel Monteiro and Esteban Petignat also do not make the trip to England. Captain Fabian Lustenberger has returned from a serious injury and could be in contention to start at Old Trafford.
David Wagner will set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of goalkeeper Guillaume Faivre, who will deputise for von Ballmoos. Silvan Hefti and Jordan Lefort should get the nod in the full-back slots, on the right and left sides, respectively. The duo will look to push forward and pressure their opposite numbers, in the process, hoping to cut down United’s natural source of attacking width on the pitch.
Sandro Lauper and captain Lustenberger should form the centre-back pairing and look to protect the goalkeeper. They will be given further defensive support from Christopher Martins Pereira, who will be occupying the holding midfield role. Michel Aebischer and Vincent Sierro ought to be the other two central midfielders who will be tasked with supporting the side in both attacking and defensive phases.
Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu, who had a good game the last time he faced Manchester United, will slot in on the left flank while Meschak Elia takes up the right-wing. Top-scorer Jordan Siebatcheu ought to lead the line for Young Boys.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Faivre; Hefti, Lauper, Lustenberger, Lefort; Aebischer, Pereira, Sierro; Elia, Siebatcheu, Ngamaleu
- This will be the fourth meeting between Manchester United and BSC Young Boys in the UEFA Champions League. The Red Devils won the first two in the 2018/19 group stage before losing 1-2 away from home earlier this season.
- Since losing to Young Boys in their first meeting of this season’s Champions League, Manchester United have gone unbeaten in their past four games in the competition (W3 D1). They last went five matches without defeat in the competition in the 2013/14 group stage under David Moyes, winning four and drawing two.
- Young Boys have lost their past six away games in the European Cup/Champions League, between 1986 and 2021, with their last away win coming in August 1960 against Limerick.
- Since his summer return to Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in all five of his Champions League appearances (six goals).
- Young Boys have never kept a clean sheet in the UEFA Champions League, with this set to be their 12th match in the competition.
Player to Watch
Donny van de Beek
Ralf Rangnick x Donny van de Beek ⚽✨🔴♥️ pic.twitter.com/GPsVSlrpRd
— United Journal (@theutdjournal) December 4, 2021
The Netherlands international has endured a torrid year at Manchester United since joining the club in the summer of 2020. Donny van de Beek was never favoured by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose continued refusal to use the midfielder puzzled many. However, with the change of regime, the ex-Ajax star will get a chance to start afresh and kickstart his career at Old Trafford.
Set to start on Wednesday night, the Dutchman will be hoping to make an impression on new manager Ralf Rangnick. A good performance against Young Boys could help ensure that van de Beek will enjoy more minutes in the future, which would allow him to showcase his best in Manchester United colours.
Manchester United 2-0 Young Boys
Young Boys will certainly draw confidence from the fact that they have already defeated Manchester United once this term. However, on Wednesday, they will be facing a side with much different make-up and identity from the one that they got the better of back in September. Furthermore, David Wagner’s side themselves haven’t been in the best form.
Meanwhile, Manchester United displayed many positives in the win against Crystal Palace, and even though Ralf Rangnick is likely to rotate his troops for the game, there should be enough quality on the pitch for the hosts to bag a rather comfortable win.