Manchester United will travel to Germany to face RB Leipzig at the RB Arena in the final group stage match of the UEFA Champions League this evening. United top the group, albeit on goal difference right now and require a point to reach the round of 16 of the competition this season. Defeats to Istanbul Basaksehir and Paris Saint-Germain have led to United leaving it late to reach the knockout stages of the competition this season. If they lose and PSG win, the UEFA Europa League could beckon once again. A win or a draw will see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side into the round of 16 draw on Monday 14 December.
Leipzig will not be looking to face defeat like they did against United at Old Trafford earlier this season with United scoring five goals against the club. The German side will have seen that United are defensively imperfect at this moment in time, but United would have seen the same. The German club have not kept a clean sheet in their last five matches, conceding three goals in each of their last two matches. United though have a similar problem – keeping a clean sheet once in five matches and conceding seven goals in their last four matches. This could be a good match but United will need to prevail.
Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;
Wan-Bissaka, Matic, McTominay, Telles;
Henderson, Grant; Bailly, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe, Williams; Pogba, Mata, Lingard, James, Van de Beek; Ighalo
Mukiele, Konaté, Orban, Angelińo;
Sabitzer, Haidara, Kampl;
Wosz, Sørloth, Tschauner, Halstenberg, Poulsen, Adams, Kluivert, Martínez, Martel
United and Leipzig have met once in the Champions League with United winning 5-0. United have played German opposition many times in European competition. The first German team played was Borussia Dortmund in 1956 followed by FK Vorwärts Berlin in 1965 with Dortmund again in 1997 followed by FC Bayern München in 1998 and 1999 in what was a good season for United. The Red Devils have also faced Bayer 04 Leverkusen, VfB Stuttgart, VfL Wolfsburg and FC Schalke 04. United have played 31 matches against German clubs, winning 15, drawing eight and losing eight. United have scored 55 goals, conceding 36 against German clubs.
United have faced Bayern München the most when playing against German clubs with eleven matches being played against the club with United winning twice, drawing five times and being defeated four times. One of the wins was in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final, a 2-1 victory in Barcelona. The last German team to face United in the competition was Wolfsburg in the group stages of the competition five years ago, winning once and losing once. Leipzig have faced Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 16 in the Champions League last season, their only English opposition, winning 4-0 on aggregate; 1-0 in London and 3-0 in Leipzig.
Written by John Walker