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Man United face difficult task to overcome high-flying RB Leipzig

Manchester United face a difficult task to overcome high-flying RB Leipzig who currently sit at the top of the Bundesliga table.

After last week’s heroics in Paris, Ole’s Red Devils enter the fixture as clear favourites despite the Red Bulls’ 2-0 victory over Turkish champions İstanbul Başakşehir F.K. in midweek. 

RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann faces an injury crisis as full-back Nordi Mukiele has been ruled out of Wednesday’s clash, as per German outlet Kicker. According to GGFN, the Bundesliga leaders will line-up in a 3-4-2-1 formation.

Dani Olmo and Christopher Nkunku will play behind Yussuf Poulsen, with a double pivot of Tyler Adams and Kevin Kampl. Benjamin Henrichs and former Manchester City man Angeliño will play as the wing-backs.

Dutchman Donny van de Beek is poised to get his first start outside of the Carabao Cup, having appeared 4 times off the bench in the Premier League. Solskjaer could use the opportunity to rest Marcus Rashford and play Anthony Martial as a lone striker, with Bruno Fernandes occupying the no. 10 role. As seen in Paris, Ole will most likely continue with his back 5 system – with Tuanzebe, Lindelof and Maguire across the backline and Alex Telles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka as wing-backs.

When speaking about Donny van de Beek, the United manager said (via Sky Sports): “Donny is going to play a big big part this year. I know at the moment the topic is Donny van de Beek. When Donny has played, he’s played really well. It says a lot about our depth of quality in the squad that we don’t have to use him every game. It also says everything about our ambitions.”

One man who will be watched closely by United scouts is Leipzig powerhouse Dayot Upamecano. According to Paul Hirst of The Times, Manchester United are likely to make a move for the Frenchman next summer. The defender’s release clause is believed to be £38m and will become active once the transfer window opens. 

Having conceded just 3 goals in their 5 Bundesliga games this season, Upamecano will prove to be a strong matchup for the likes of Martial and Fernandes. In addition, Nagelsmann’s side have scored 12 league goals this season, an average of 2.40 per game. United captain Harry Maguire and his defensive partners will be in for a treat dealing with frontman Yussuf Poulsen who has averaged 1.08 goals per game so far in the league campaign and Spaniard Dani Olmo, averaging 0.78 assists per game.

On the contrary, Manchester United don’t look nearly as prepared as the Germans for this fixture. The Red Devils have conceded an average of 2.40 goals per game this season, and scored just 1.80 per game. You’d expect these numbers to be a lot better, having an £80m centre-back and one of the most electrifying attacks in world football. 

Despite United’s poor start to the league campaign, they have began the Champions League campaign in style and one they’ll wish to build on in Wednesday nights fixture under the lights at The Theatre of Dreams.

Read more: Northern Ireland international signs new United contract until June 2023

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