Following the incredible return of Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United are ready to embark on their UEFA Champions League journey. The Red Devils are still sore from being knocked out in the group stages last season & want to redeem themselves this year.
In their UCL opener, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side faces BSC Young Boys – the minnows of the group. However, there are no ‘easy matches’ in Europe anymore. After the reality check they got last season, the Red Devils will take this game seriously & hope to begin their UCL campaign with an emphatic win.
Young Boys Likely XI
Von Ballmoos, Hefti, Camara, Zesiger, Garcia, Fassnacht, Martins Pereira, Aebischer, Ngamaleu, Elia, Siabatcheu
The Switzerland side has quite a few injury issues right now, with multiple first-teamers ruled out.
Manchester United Likely XI
De Gea, Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, Pogba, Bruno, Greenwood, Sancho, Ronaldo
United are likely to miss Edinson Cavani after he missed the Newcastle United win. Marcus Rashford, Alex Telles & Scott McTominay remain injured.
Young Boys vs Manchester United Preview
Man United are on cloud nine after the big win at the weekend & with Ronaldo also having scored twice on his second debut. However, there’s still a long way to go into the season. If the Red Devils really want to break their trophy drought & challenge for big titles, they have to be consistent.
That includes both in England in Europe. After last season’s embarrassment, Solskjaer’s side are determined to win their relatively easier group this time around. To do so, they have to roll over Young Boys – arguably the weakest team in the group.
Fortunately for Solskjaer, his side are riding high on a wave of momentum. The pieces are starting to come together and while there’s still much to improve, this United side looks like an extremely deadly prospect.
Ronaldo, of course, will have all eyes on him in his first UCL game back for United. He is, after all, the king of the Champions League. Having won the competition 5 times, he’ll aim to use all that experience to help the Red Devils sore.
CR7 looks to continue his good form in this one as he’ll demand the ball in space inside the box & put his clinical finishing to good use in order to take an early lead in the Golden Boot race. His fellow Portuguese, Bruno Fernandes, seems revitalized after his arrival.
After his excellent goal on Saturday, Bruno continues to create big chances from outside the area & is guaranteed to continue taking shots on goal. Paul Pogba has 7 assists in 4 games this season. He’ll be allowed to do his thing in midfield & dictate the game for them, as well as create big scoring chances.
Mason Greenwood isn’t the most comfortable out wide, but he’s still being involved in the thick of good things for United in the attack. He’ll look to deliver better crosses into the box, while also try taking a few shots on target.
Jadon Sancho is still without a goal or assist at United, but seems to be improving with each game. He’ll hope to terrorize Young Boys with his impressive dribbling & link-up play, while also improving his final product to finally get his goal contribution.
BSC Young Boys might be the underdogs of the group, but they won’t back out without a fight. Playing in front of a devoted crowd at home, they’ll hope to ruin United’s party on matchday 1. Of course, the Swiss side is going to mostly play on the defensive & park the bus in order to frustrate their opponents and get something out from the game.
But they could create problems on the counter-attack, especially if they’re able to be clinical enough going forward. Forwards Meschack Elia & Jordan Siabatcheu could cause problems with their link-up play and are both well capable of finishing away chances in the final third.
The Red Devils’ looked a bit shaky against pacey counter-attacks against Newcastle the other day. Raphael Varane already looks like a Rolls-Royce of a defender, but he has to maintain better communication with Harry Maguire to stop Young Boys from creating any clear-cut chances.
Diogo Dalot is in line for his first start & has to put in a big performance to improve his first-team chances. He’ll have to keep things clean defensively, but also get his crosses right & feed Ronaldo with accurate delivery. Luke Shaw aims to continue his good work but has to be a bit more sturdy with his defensive work.
If they want to win their UCL group early, United have to win their first few matches in dominant fashion. That involves winning the opener by a big margin. As long as able to avoid any defensive tragedies, the Red Devils have enough firepower to overwhelm this Young Boys side & should continue their impressive form.
With the kind of run they’re in, can’t really see United dropping points here. I’ll go with a 2-0 win for them.
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