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Ratings: Greenwood opened the scoring for United in Young Boys draw; Heaton, Mengi, Shoretire, Iqbal and Savage made Champions League debuts

Manchester United drew 1-1 with Young Boys in the UEFA Champions League at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. Mason Greenwood, assisted by Luke Shaw opened the scoring in the ninth minute with Jesse Lingard messing up to stop United from scoring a second. In the 42nd minute of the match, Fabian Rieder equalised for Young Boys in their bid to continue in European competition this season. Rangnick used all five substitutes, giving Tom Heaton, Teden Mengi, Shola Shoretire, Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage their debuts in the competition. It was good to see the youth trusted again.

This United side started the match in fine fettle, seeking to get the better of their Swiss opposition from the very start of the match. Rangnick made 11 changes for this match, choosing to rest the majority of his first team ahead of Saturday’s trip to Norwich City. United eventually took the lead in the ninth minute with Mason Greenwood finding the back of the net with Luke Shaw playing the assist to the forward. It was a great finish for the 20-year-old who had scored his fifth goal of the season with Shaw getting his third assist. United looked up for the challenge despite the number of players rested for this match.

United should have made it 2-0 in the first half but Jesse Lingard did not pay attention to the passing in the box, missing a chance to score for United and put them ahead comfortably. But many will say that Lingard is still a talent and will develop into a first team player at some point. The lad can’t seem to concentrate on the basics of football and when the pressure is on, he will chase nothing but shadows. He has proved that in this match. Still, he should be able to get back into the swing of things after playing in this match as he can do much better than this. United could regret not taking that chance.

In the 42nd minute of the match Young Boys equalised with a superb finish with Fabian Rieder beating Dean Henderson, which was a shame for United. It would give the Swiss side a chance to remain in European competition, provided they can win this match and the postponed match between Atalanta and Villarreal goes ahead with a favourable result for the Swiss side, or they will have played their last match in European competition this season. United seemed to respond well to conceding the goal but the first half ended with the two sides level and all still to play for, although it did not matter for United as they were already through.

There were no changes for either side at the start of the second half. United played some good football as they tried to get back into the lead again but the Swiss side did what they needed to stop any further goals being conceded. In the 61st minute of the match, Rangnick made his first substitution with Teden Mengi replacing Shaw, who was only going to be playing an hour this evening after his return from a head injury. United, despite being relatively inexperienced at this level, were still playing a good game and the Young Boys should really have capitalised, so perhaps it shows the level of the club and the players?

In the 68th minute of the match, Rangnick made a double substitution with Tom Heaton making his United and Champions League debut with Henderson coming off and Shola Shoretire, becoming the youngest United player to feature in a European competition, replacing Amad Diallo. There was a youthly look to this United side, with more youth players on the bench and two more substitutions remaining. United still held their own against their Swiss opposition with the crown in find fettle singing about the club to spur them on in their pursuit to win the match. Shoretire became the first player to be booked, picking up a yellow card in the 80th minute.

United kicked on and seemed happy with the draw, not that it matters as United had already won the group before this match. In the 89th minute, Rangnick made his final two substitutions with Zidane Iqbal replacing Lingard and Charlie Savage replacing Juan Mata. What a proud moment for all the players making their debuts in this match, even 35 year-old Heaton will be proud. United fought on into the five minutes of added time, even though that was in effect spoiled by three pitch invaders. The players on the pitch should be congratulated for their participation in this match, which allowed Rangnick to evaluate his players.

United will now await Monday’s round of 16 draw for the Champions League, which will see how they fair in the next stage of the competition. At least the club will not be participating in the UEFA Europa League next season, as that really would make the remainder of the season a little bit tougher. United will face Norwich City at Carrow Road in the Premier League on Saturday evening, after three home matches in a row. United will be seeking another three points in the league against the team at the bottom of the table. Following that match, United travel to Brentford on Tuesday 14 December with fixtures hotting up through the Festive period.

Manchester United

26 Dean Henderson

Unable to keep a clean sheet on his second appearance for United this season. It was a tough ball to get a hold of though and a great finish for the Rieder. He was replaced by Heaton in the 68th minute of the match. It was a positive performance for him and Rangnick would have been impressed.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

This was not a great performance for the right-back, but he has been out for two matches. Perhaps it will get better. Seemed to have injured his hand again following a collision with an advertising hoarding.

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3 Eric Bailly

Seemed to be in good form in this match, not that it matters as one day he can be good, the next a liability. Put in some tackles and clearances and seemed committed to the cause. Should play more often and might this month.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Played as a centre-back in this match and seemed to be ahead of the game in the first half but tired in the second showing sloppier play.

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23 Luke Shaw

Good to see him make his return from a head injury. Got stuck in and played the assist for Greenwood's opener in the ninth minute of the match. Showed glimpses of the form he can bring. Replaced by Mengi in the 61st minute of the match.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Missed a great opportunity to see United 2-0 up in the first half. Seemed to struggle at times and was largely anonymous in the second half. His time at United should be over based on these performances. Replaced by Iqbal in the 89th minute. Should have been replaced much sooner.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Played a poor pass with resulted in Young Boys equaliser. Perhaps should not have played in the holding midfield position but it was a dead rubber match to try out new things and test players for other positions. Attacking roles seem better for the Dutchman.

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16 Amad Diallo

Seemed to be all over the pitch at times, making his first start for United this season. Had some involvement in good areas too, which was great to see. He was replaced by Shoretire in the 68th minute of the match.

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8 Juan Mata

Made his second appearance of the season. Showed good thinking at times but seemed to lack the pace of the game. Should have helped United go 2-0 up. Great player but his time seems to have passed.

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36 Anthony Elanga

Seemed to be out of the match in the first half but arrived in the second, playing a good pass to Greenwood, which did not result in another goal. Could have perhaps scored on a one-on-one but didn't.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Scored United's only goal of the game with a superb finish. Perhaps has his name in content to start against Norwich on Sunday. Should hold his head high.

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Substitutes

43 Teden Mengi

Replaced Shaw 61'. Did well and recovered from a slip to block the ball. He is going to be a decent defender in time.

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47 Shola Shoretire

Replaced Amad 68'. Did not make an impact which was needed form him. Became the only player booked in the match.

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22 Tom Heaton

Replaced Henderson 68'. Made his United debut at 35 despite starting in the academy. Was not really tested.

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72 Charlie Savage

Replaced Mata 89'. Not enough time to make an impact, like Iqbal had just a minute plus added time. It was a good start for him.

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73 Zidane Iqbal

Replaced Lingard 89'. Came on late in the game with just a minute and added time to play. Did not embarrass himself. It will give him a taste of the first team.

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Goals: Mason Greenwood 9′; Fabian Rieder 42′

Assists: Luke Shaw 9′

Manchester United: Henderson (Heaton 68′); Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Matic, Shaw (Mengi 61′); Lingard (Iqbal 89′), Van de Beek; Amad (Shoretire 68′), Mata (Savage 89′), Elanga; Greenwood

Substitutes Not Used: Kovar; Hardley

Bookings: Shola Shoretire 79′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Greenwood and Elanga start against Young Boys; Savage, Hardley, Iqbal and Mengi on the bench

Manchester United face Young Boys at Old Trafford in the final group stage match of the UEFA Champions League this evening, knowing that they have secured the top spot in the group as they have beaten Villarreal twice in the competition this season and the Spanish side can only match the ten points United have amassed in the competition so far this season. If United beat Young Boys, which should happen, they will have 13 points this season. Young Boys only have four points in five matches and three of them came in the opening match when they beat United 2-1. Ralf Rangnick’s United side should be seeking a confidence building session.

United are undefeated since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked by the Old Trafford club. Michael Carrick led United to two wins and one draw and Rangnick has one win in his first match in charge, seeing United beat Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday. The Old Trafford club have a pretty easy run throughout December and should be challenging those above them, breaking into the top four by the time we reach 2022. That will be the plan that United should have set, seeking to start a title charge under Rangnick with the club expected to learn a lot under his tutelage. Hopefully, Manchester United start to show signs they can compete this season.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Matic, Shaw;

Lingard, Van de Beek;

Amad, Mata, Elanga;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Heaton, Kovar; Hardley, Mengi; Iqbal, Savage, Shoretire

Young Boys:

Faivre;

Maceiras, Camara, Lustenberger, Lefort;

Pereira, Aebischer;

Elia, Rieder, Ngamaleu;

Siebatcheu

Substitutes:

Zbinden, L’aidai, Zesiger, Sierro, Kanga, Sulejmani, Jankewitz, Burgy, Maier, Toure, Lauper, Hefti

United and Young Boys have met a total of three times in the UEFA Champions League. United have won two, losing one matches, scoring five goals, conceding two. Both matches were played in the group stages of the competition during the 2018/19 season. United won the first match 3-0 with Paul Pogba scoring a brace and Anthony Martial scoring the other. The match was played at the Stade de Suisse. At Old Trafford, it was a 1-0 victory for United with Marouane Fellaini scoring the only goal of the match. United will be seeking to continue their unbeaten run against the Swiss side. United were beaten 2-1 earlier this season – seeking a win here.

There is no real connection between Manchester United and Young Boys. United have never bought a player from the Swiss club and Young Boys have never bought or loaned a player directly from United. However, a player who has previously played for United has played for Young Boys. Saidy Janko, who was once part of the United academy was loaned to the Swiss side during the 2019/20 season. Janko started life at FC Zurich and was purchased by United in the summer of 2013, playing in the academy. He made one appearance for United’s first team, 28 for the U23s, scoring one goal and six assists and four appearances for the U19s.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-2-2] Ronaldo, Elanga, Sancho and Amad to lead the attack against Young Boys?

Manchester United face Young Boys at Old Trafford in the final group stage match of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening, knowing that they have secured the top spot in the group as they have beaten Villarreal twice in the competition this season and the Spanish side can only match the ten points United have amassed in the competition so far this season. If United beat Young Boys, which should happen, they will have 13 points this season. Young Boys only have four points in five matches and three of them came in the opening match when they beat United 2-1. Ralf Rangnick’s United side should be seeking a confidence building session.

United are undefeated since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked by the Old Trafford club. Michael Carrick led United to two wins and one draw and Rangnick has one win in his first match in charge, seeing United beat Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday. The Old Trafford club have a pretty easy run throughout December and should be challenging those above them, breaking into the top four by the time we reach 2022. That will be the plan that United should have set, seeking to start a title charge under Rangnick with the club expected to learn a lot under his tutelage. Hopefully, Manchester United start to show signs they can compete this season.

Previous meetings with Young Boys and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Young Boys have met a total of three times in the UEFA Champions League. United have won two, losing one matches, scoring five goals, conceding two. Both matches were played in the group stages of the competition during the 2018/19 season. United won the first match 3-0 with Paul Pogba scoring a brace and Anthony Martial scoring the other. The match was played at the Stade de Suisse. At Old Trafford, it was a 1-0 victory for United with Marouane Fellaini scoring the only goal of the match. United will be seeking to continue their unbeaten run against the Swiss side. United were beaten 2-1 earlier this season – seeking a win here.

There is no real connection between Manchester United and Young Boys. United have never bought a player from the Swiss club and Young Boys have never bought or loaned a player directly from United. However, a player who has previously played for United has played for Young Boys. Saidy Janko, who was once part of the United academy was loaned to the Swiss side during the 2019/20 season. Janko started life at FC Zurich and was purchased by United in the summer of 2013, playing in the academy. He made one appearance for United’s first team, 28 for the U23s, scoring one goal and six assists and four appearances for the U19s.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Young Boys in the UEFA Champions League at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has been in great form this season and despite a busy month ahead, should keep his place for this match. It should be a positive match for United and they should be able to rest a number of key players to keep them fresh for the challenge ahead this month. United may be through to the knockout stages of the Champions League this season but they should get there by winning their remaining match which is what Rangnick would want as this team needs to raise in confidence which will help them with the challenges ahead of them at this stage of the season. United will have a very bust December.

There will be an impending challenge of Dean Henderson as he will want to be given a chance under the new manager but I feel his match fitness may not be good enough to start this week – but he will be given a chance in December with him expected to either push for a first team place or to leave the club on loan for the remainder of he season in January. Should that happen, United will have both Tom Heaton and Lee Grant to fall back on should they need to. It is going to be a long and tough season so there will need to be competition in this position to spur De Gea on as Henderson’s development seems to have raised his game considerably.

Defenders: Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles

United’s defence has performed much better in the last four matches, winning three times, drawing once but keeping two clean sheets. Against Young Boys, Rangnick has the chance to rest some players but with injuries, he might not be able to do that unless youth is drafted in – however, the U19’s will face Young Boys on Wednesday afternoon in their final Youth League match, knowing they are already though to the knockout stage, like the first team. I would expect both Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles to keep their places in the fullback positions. Both have played well with Dalot being a stand out player against Crystal Palace.

Harry Maguire played well against Palace, as did Victor Lindelof but for the players to be kept fresh fr the remainder of the month, one of both need to be rested ahead of the trip to Norwich City on Saturday. Maguire has recently returned from injury, so he should be able to continue so Lindelof could be rested. As Phil Jones has not been included in the squad for the Champions League at this stage of the season, which could change although a player would need to be removed, I would think that Eric Bailly could fill in for Lindelof in this match having a significantly better last match than he did against Manchester City in November.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Fred

United’s midfield still has some problems but for the foreseeable future, Rangnick will have to make do with the players that he has at his perusal. Against Young Boys, it is expected that the 4-2-2-2 formation will return, which is not really a secret but it is something that will change during the match. I would expect Scott McTominay and Fred to both start against Young Boys. McTominay shows aggression and determination but aside of that, needs to offer more going forward for United to succeed. He is a younger player and has lots of experience and should be able to kick on under Rangnick and beyond.

Fred is a player who is hot and cold at times. Sometimes he shows a poor quality of footballer but other times, he has something that can change the outcome of matches, as he did against Palace on Sunday. If Fred and McTominay can remain in the form they are showing, there is no reason why they cannot kick on and help United find their feet. The likes of Nemanja Matic or Donny van de Beek could step into this position, despite the fact the Dutchman is more of an attacking midfielder, but he has played in a deeper position before, so could find himself some involvement in this squad during the Festive period, which will be busy.

Wingers: Amad Diallo, Jadon Sancho

United have an array of attacking players with many able to play in the wide positions. Most recently, Marcus Rashford has played but does not seem to be in a period of form, so giving him a break in this match could be good for him, even if he comes off the bench at a point. Jadon Sancho has been strutting his stuff in the wide positions recently, scoring two goals in two matches under Michael Carrick, which was a great start for him. He has not come all that close to scoring in the last two matches. He might have to play on the left, which is a position he has played in at times, one that he has done well in too.

Sancho is a player that has bags of experience but will need time to fully adapt to at United. Amad Diallo missed out on a loan spell through injury in the summer and has recently fond fitness again. Starting him in this match will allow him to gain match fitness, playing in the biggest European competition against a team that United could easily beat with the right direction set by the manager and the coaches. There is a chance that he will be loaned out in January, and this could be good for that happening as United will want him to play regular first team football. This could be a great opportunity for the Ivorian.

Forward: Anthony Elanga, Cristiano Ronaldo

The attacking line is probably the most well stocked for United at this time, but there are injury problems with Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard and it probably would have been better if some of these players were fit and ready to play. That said, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored six goals in the last five Champions League matches and he will be wanting to keep that record alive, scoring in this match – even if he does only play the first half of the match with a view of keeping him fresh for the Norwich City match on Saturday evening. If some players were ready to feature for United, then changes could be made during the match.

Anthony Elanga came off the bench against Crystal Palace on Sunday. It was not the greatest of matches for him but with him scoring at the end of last season and during pre-season, there is talent there to be nurtured. At U23 level this season, he has four goals and two assists so there is something to tap into which could see that progression into the first team where he could find his feet and help United’s attack into the new era for the club. Playing alongside Ronaldo could be great for him as he will see what the Portuguese superstar does, learning something from him in his bid to become a star at United, which is something he is capable of.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Bruno Fernandes, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek; Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood

United came make a total of five substitutions in the Champions League, which means that there can be some rotation in the match, keeping fresh legs for the trip to Norwich City on Saturday. Dean Henderson could be on the bench, if he does not take De Gea’s position in the starting XI, which seems a bit early based on his lack of first team involvement so far this season. There will be chances for him this month, if he is deemed fit to play a part for the club. In defence, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka could both be available. Phil Jones is not eligible in the Champions League at this stage and Luke Shaw still seeks to be injured, at least at this time.

The midfield could see the experience of Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Bruno Fernandes, Nemanja Matić and Donny van de Beek all able to push for a chance to show what they can do ahead of what will be a busy month for United. In attack, the strongest positions, at least on paper for United, could see Anthony Martial, if he recovers from injury, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood all with a point to prove. It would seem that Edinson Cavani will miss out again with a Tendon injury but his participation is not all that far away relying on reports about him. Perhaps if he is not involved in this match, he could feature against Norwich City?

Written by John Walker

Preview: Rangnick to give Amad and Elanga a chance against Young Boys with United wanting another win?

Manchester United -v- Young Boys

UEFA Champions League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 8 December 2021, KO 20:00 GMT

Referee: Benoît Bastien Assistants: Hicham Zakrani, Aurélien Berthomieu

Fourth Official: Jérémie Pignard

VAR: Benoît Millot Assistant VAR: Delajod Willy

Manchester United face Young Boys at Old Trafford in the final group stage match of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening, knowing that they have secured the top spot in the group as they have beaten Villarreal twice in the competition this season and the Spanish side can only match the ten points United have amassed in the competition so far this season. If United beat Young Boys, which should happen, they will have 13 points this season. Young Boys only have four points in five matches and three of them came in the opening match when they beat United 2-1. Ralf Rangnick’s United side should be seeking a confidence building session.

United are undefeated since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked by the Old Trafford club. Michael Carrick led United to two wins and one draw and Rangnick has one win in his first match in charge, seeing United beat Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday. The Old Trafford club have a pretty easy run throughout December and should be challenging those above them, breaking into the top four by the time we reach 2022. That will be the plan that United should have set, seeking to start a title charge under Rangnick with the club expected to learn a lot under his tutelage. Hopefully, Manchester United start to show signs they can compete this season.

Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: WWDWLL

Crystal Palace 1-0 W, Arsenal 3-2 W, Chelsea 1-1 D, Villarreal 2-0 W, Watford 4-1 L, Manchester City 2-0 L

Goals: 12 – Cristiano Ronaldo, 5 – Bruno Fernandes, 4 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Marcus Rashford, 2 – Fred, Jesse Lingard, Jadon Sancho, 1 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek

Assists: 9 – Bruno Fernandes, 7 – Paul Pogba, 2 – Mason Greenwood, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Shaw, 1 – Fred, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Raphael Varane

Young Boys – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: LWLDDL

Servette FC 2-1 L, FC Lugano 3-1 W, FC Zürich 1-0 L, Atalanta 3-3 D, Grasshopper Club Zürich 1-1 D, Villarreal 2-0 L

Goals: 12 – Jordan Siebatcheu, 9 – Wilfried Kanga, 8 – Christian Fassnacht, 6 – Meschack Elia, 4 – Michel Aebischer, Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu, Vincent Sierro, 3 – Ulisses Garcia, Fabian Rieder, 2 – Silvan Hefti, Felix Mambimbi, Cédric Zesiger, 1 – Nicolas Bürgy, Quentin Maceiras, Miralem Sulejmani

Assists: 9 – Michel Aebischer, 7 – Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu, 6 – Meschack Elia, Felix Mambimbi, 5 – Fabian Rieder, 3 – Silvan Hefti, Marvin Spielmann, Miralem Sulejmani, 2 – Ulisses Garcia, Jordan Siebatcheu, 1 – Christian Fassnacht, Wilfried Kanga, Christopher Martins Pereira, Vincent Sierro

Previous meetings with Young Boys and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Young Boys have met a total of three times in the UEFA Champions League. United have won two, losing one matches, scoring five goals, conceding two. Both matches were played in the group stages of the competition during the 2018/19 season. United won the first match 3-0 with Paul Pogba scoring a brace and Anthony Martial scoring the other. The match was played at the Stade de Suisse. At Old Trafford, it was a 1-0 victory for United with Marouane Fellaini scoring the only goal of the match. United will be seeking to continue their unbeaten run against the Swiss side. United were beaten 2-1 earlier this season – seeking a win here.

There is no real connection between Manchester United and Young Boys. United have never bought a player from the Swiss club and Young Boys have never bought or loaned a player directly from United. However, a player who has previously played for United has played for Young Boys. Saidy Janko, who was once part of the United academy was loaned to the Swiss side during the 2019/20 season. Janko started life at FC Zurich and was purchased by United in the summer of 2013, playing in the academy. He made one appearance for United’s first team, 28 for the U23s, scoring one goal and six assists and four appearances for the U19s.

Team News: Two players ruled out for United with Young Boys having eight players out of action at this time. Could United field some youth players along with fringe players, or remain strong to get the win?

Paul Pogba (Thigh) and Raphael Varane (Thigh) have been ruled out for the visit of Young Boys. Luke Shaw (Head) and Edinson Cavani  (Tendon) both have a 25% chance of being available for United whilst Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard (both Muscular) have a 50% chance of being fit to face Young Boys. Rangnick could pick a number of fringe players to face Young Boys and with the U19’s also through, some youth players could be given a chance in this match, which would be ideal for them but may not actually happen. I am sure that United will field a side capable of getting all three points in the bag in the final group stage match.

David von Ballmoos (Shoulder), Cédric Zesiger (Metatarsal), Ulisses Garcia (Calf), Christian Fassnacht (Concussion), Fabian Rieder (Illness), Esteban Petignat (Unknown), Jean-Pierre Nsame (Achilles) and Joël Monteiro (Knee) will all be out of action for the visit to the Theatre of Dreams in the final Champions League group stage match. Wilfried Kanga is also a doubt according to UEFA.com. It could well be that Young Boys will have an inexperienced squad to face United, which could also be the case for United, who have a chance to rotate the squad in a match considered as a dead rubber, seeing as their qualification has been confirmed.

Predicted Starting XI: Anthony Elanga and Amad Diallo to be given a chance against Young Boys? Fred and Scott McTominay should keep their places with Eric Bailly partnering Harry Maguire?

Rangnick is still in his infancy as United’s manager but he will have a big clue about who he can trust, who needs to get a chance and probably who needs to have a rest before bigger fixtures arrive this month. This is in effect a dead rubber of a match because United have already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition. Whilst United will still want to win and Cristiano Ronaldo will still be seeking to break records, scoring in every match in the competition so far this season, which will mean he should still play, even if it is just for the first half of the match. United have a lack of forwards right now but could bring in some youth.

I would imagine that David De Gea will keep his place in goal against Young Boys, although I would not be surprised if Dean Henderson plays ahead of him. United will want to win this match though and the English goalkeeper does not have much match fitness this season. In defence, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles should keep their places, as should Harry Maguire. With Phil Jones not registered in this competition, Eric Bailly could partner him. Scott McTominay and Fred should play in the midfield two with Jadon Sancho (left) and Amad Diallo (right) in the wide positions. Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Elanga could spearhead the attack.

Match Prediction: United will be seeking to end the group stages of the Champions League on a high with a win over Young Boys, paying them back for their shock defeat at the start of the competition.

United were beaten by Young Boys in the opening group stage fixture this season, losing 2-1. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off, which was harsh considering the the next evening, a player did something similar and was not sent off. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first goal of the game in the 13th minute with Young Boys equalising in the 66th minute and scoring the winner five minutes into added time at the end of the match. It was a poor defeat for United and added pressure to the club in the competition, knowing what happened last season with them needing a point from their last two matches, ending up defeated in both.

On Wednesday at the Theatre of Dreams, United will need to kick back and ensure they beat Young Boys this time. United are safely through to the knockout stage of the Champions League this season but with Rangnick’s second match in charge of the club, they will not want a defeat to destabilise the form United have shown in the last four matches with three wins, one draw and two clean sheets. United have a relatively easier run this month, so should be able to rotate the squad significantly, with players also returning from injury, which will take the pressure off those being used more than others at this time.

Manchester United 2-0 Young Boys

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Ronaldo scored his 121st goal but ten-man United ended up losing to the Young Boys of Bern

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Young Boys in the opening UEFA Champions League group stage match of the season. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring, assisted by Bruno Fernandes in the 13th minute of the match. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off for a bad foul in the 35th minute of the match, leaving United with ten men. Nicolas Moumi Ngamalo found the equaliser in the 66th minute of the match with United doing so well at that stage. United tried to hold out but Jordan Siebatcheu found the winner in the fifth minute of add time with the Swiss side getting all three points from the match.

The Young Boys started the match well, capitalising on a mistake by Jadon Sancho and pushing forwards to scored, but did not get that far. It was an early shock for United, who now knew that the Swiss side were not going to sit down and let United take the victory easy. United then started to find their feet in the match, playing on a synthetic surface. In the 13th minute of the match, Bruno Fernandes played the ball through to Cristiano Ronaldo, who fired at goal with the goalkeeper trying to make the save and the ball rolling across the line. It was Ronaldo’s 121st goal for United, 4,515 days since his last Champions League goal for United.

It all seemed to be going well for United, scoring an early goal once again and getting their Champions League campaign up and running but the Young Boys were causing a few problems for the Premier League side. In the 35th minute of the match, Aaron Wan-Bissaka fouled Christopher Martins Pereira, stepping on his foot with the player seemingly writhing in agony and the referee showed the United right-back a straight red card. It was unfortunate for United that they were now down to ten men. Solskjaer had to made his fist substitution in the match, bringing Diogo Dalot on for Jadon Sancho in the 37th minute.

United now needed to see the game out with the men on the pitch but they have the insurance policy of the early goal, needing another to secure the three points as the Young Boys will be throwing all they can at them in the second half, so defensively, United will need to be astute. Solskjaer does have up to five substitutions to use, and there is plenty of ability on the bench with Raphael Varane, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood, not to mention Anthony Elanga, who also made the match day squad. Solskjaer made his second substitution during the break with Raphael Varane replacing Donny van de Beek.

It looked like Solskjaer was advocating for the back three in the defence in the second half with Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Varane in the centre of the defence and both Dalot and Luke Shaw playing in the wing-back roles for United. A second goal would start to kill off the game for United, which is what they need to be striving to get from this half, or just maintain their 1-0 lead, which is shaky territory for United. Ronaldo was through on goal within ten minutes of the second half starting, seemingly fouled in the box with him going down, but nothing was given. The Young Boys were throwing all they had to get an equaliser.

In the 66th minute, Nicolas Moumi Ngamalo found the equaliser which made the home supporters erupt. He was assisted by Silvan Hefti. United will have to settle for a draw or go for the win, which did not seem to be coming. Solskjaer made a double substitution in the 72nd minute with Jesse Lingard replacing Ronaldo and Nemanja Matic replacing Fernandes. United were trying to carve out some chances, but being down to ten men was the major problem with the Young Boys attacking with all they had in a bid to get the three points in this group stage match in the competition. 1-1 all and lots to play for from both teams.

With ten minutes left to play, Lindelof suffered a head injury, trying to beat Meschak Elia but both players trying to head the ball, colliding heads instead of winning the ball. After a few minutes, Lindelof was back on his feet and able to play on with the home side making a few substitutions to throw all they had at United to try and carve out a win. United had one substitute left for this match. It was expected that this was going to be an easier match for United, which started out that way – after an initial scare but the sending off turned it into a chaotic encounter with United being pushed for all they had. It happens in football though.

United were tested again in the last few minutes of the match which saw David De Gea to stretch to make a save to deny the home side from taking the lead for the first time in the match. It could have been so much different for United. It just depends on how much added time will be played at the end of this match. Anthony Martial replaced Fred in the last minute of the match – to keep United attacking. The Young Boys got the winner though with United having their backs to the wall. Jordan Siebatcheu got the winner to give all three points to the Swiss side after the opening match in the group.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Top performance from the Spanish international in his first Champions League outing of the season. Unfortunate to conceded in the 66th minute of the match but made a great save in the last two minutes to deny the home side. The winner came in added time though, which was a shame.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Started the match well with United getting an early goal, through none other than Ronaldo. Sent off for a bad foul in the 35th minute of the match.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Seemed to play better with both Varane and Maguire playing with him in a back three. So food for thought there moving forward. Needs to improve defensively though, Did well at the end of the match, getting a head injury trying to win the ball.

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5 Harry Maguire

Dominant display at times but was dragged towards the ball, which resulted in the equaliser. He will not be happy with that at all. United will bounce back from their first defeat of the season.

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23 Luke Shaw

Gave United some much-needed width in attack in the first half but after the sending off, if became a defensive display from Shaw for the remainder of the match.

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17 Fred

Needed lots of energy in this match but still seemed like the weak link in the midfield, playing on his own in the area before Matic came on. Did well, considering. Better opposition would have capitalised against this team down to ten men though. Replaced by Martial in the 90th minute of the match.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Did well in the first half, with United down to ten men for ten minutes at the end of the half. It was good to see him start but his match fitness will need improvement, which will happen when he played more minutes. Replaced by Varane during the break as Solskjaer changed the formation.

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25 Jadon Sancho

Did not start the match all that well as he lost the ball with Young Boys on the attack. Seemed to improve but after Wan-Bissaka was sent off in the 35th minute, he was replaced by Dalot two minutes later.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Got his first assist of the season with Ronaldo opening the scoring in the 14th minute of the match. After Wan-Bissaka was sent off, United had little attacking presence. He was replaced by Matic in the 72nd minute.

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6 Paul Pogba

Had some impact in the match, but not much. Started on the left in the attacking positions behind the forward. Seemed to get more of a grasp to the match in midfield.

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7 Cristiano Ronaldo

Scored his first Champions League goal for United in 4,515 days, scoring a brace against Arsenal on the 5 May 2009, putting United ahead against the Young Boys in the 14th minute. Could have had a second but seemed to be fouled in the box, which was not given. Replaced by Lingard in the 72nd minute.

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Substitutes

20 Diogo Dalot

Replaced Sancho 37'. Did well despite United being down to ten men. Tried to create something going forward, playing in a wing-back role. Good to see him get some game time - should have perhaps started.

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19 Raphael Varane

Replaced Van de Beek 46'. Should have started as he did more defensively than most players in about ten minutes in the second half. United conceded twice though, losing the match with Varane involved in the equaliser.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Ronaldo 72'. Came on to create something late in the game but was a marked man. Made a big mistake late on which cost United their draw, turning it into a defeat.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced Fernandes 72'. Helped the midfield tick and did the defensive work. This is why United need another defensive-minded midfielder. Can't wait until McTominay is back. Should have come on at the break maybe?

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Fred 89'. It was a cameo which gave nothing but he was on the pitch for a minute plus added time. Not the best impact, but it was never going to be magical.

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Goals: Nicolas Moumi Ngamalo 66′, Jordan Siebatcheu 90+5′; Cristiano Ronaldo 13′

Assists: Silvan Hefti 66′; Bruno Fernandes 13′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred (Martial 89′), Van de Beek (Varane 46′); Sancho (Dalot 37′), Fernandes (Matic 72′), Pogba; Ronaldo (Lingard 72′)

Substitutes Not Used: Heaton, Kovar; Bailly; Mata; Greenwood, Elanga

Bookings: Christian Fassnacht 45+1′, Christopher Martins Pereira50′; Aaron Wan-Bissaka 35′ s/o, Raphael Varane 65′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Ronaldo, Sancho, Fernandes and Pogba start against Young Boys; Varane, Lingard and Greenwood on the bench

Manchester United return to UEFA Champions League action when they face Young Boys at the Stage de Suisse in Bern this evening. It will be the clubs first participation in the competition since their group stage exit last season when they failed to get a point from their last two matches, beaten by Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig in the final two group stage matches, exiting the competition and falling into the UEFA Europa League, where they went all the way to the final against Villarreal but were beaten 11-10 on penalties with David De Gea not making a single save, missing his penalty. Water under the bridge now.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to get out of the group stages of the Champions League this season, after learning a lot last season in their tough group, despite beating PSG and Leipzig in the opening two matches, losing to Istanbul Basaksehir, then beating the Turkish side, falling to defeat against PSG and Leipzig in the final two matches of the competition. This season though, United are playing positively with the signings that have been made and the experience brought to the squad should give United a lot more going forward. Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane will add a lot of that themselves.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, Van de Beek;

Sancho, Fernandes, Pogba;

Ronaldo

Substitutes:

Heaton, Kovar; Bailly, Varane, Dalot; Mata, Lingard, Matic; Martial, Greenwood, Elanga

BSC Young Boys:

Von Ballmoos;

Hefti, Camara, Lauper, Garcia;

Sierro, Pereira;

Fassnacht, Aebischer, Nagtaleu;

Elia

Substitutes:

Zbinden, Faivre, Zesiger, Spielmann, Kanga, Sulejmani, Jankewitz, Burgy, Siebatcheu, Mambimbi, Maceiras, Rieder

United and Young Boys have met a total of two times in the UEFA Champions League. United have won both matches, scoring four goals. Both matches were played in the group stages of the competition during the 2018/19 season. United won the first match 3-0 with Paul Pogba scoring a brace (one goal from the penalty spot) and Anthony Martial scoring the other. The match was played at the Stade de Suisse. At Old Trafford, it was a 1-0 victory for United with Marouane Fellaini scoring the only goal of the match. United will be seeking to continue their unbeaten run against the Swiss side.

There is no real connection between Manchester United and Young Boys. United have never bought a player from the Swiss club and Young Boys have never bought or loaned a player directly from United. However, a player who has previously played for United has played for Young Boys. Saidy Janko, who was once part of the United academy was loaned to the Swiss side during the 2019/20 season. Janko started life at FC Zurich and was purchased by United in the summer of 2013, playing in the academy. He made one appearance for United’s first team,28 for the U23s, scoring one goal and six assists and four appearances for the U19s.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Ronaldo to lead the line in a 4-2-3-1 with Pogba, Fernandes and Sancho; Van de Beek to start?

Manchester United return to UEFA Champions League action when they face Young Boys at the Stage de Suisse in Bern on Tuesday evening. It will be the clubs first participation in the competition since their group stage exit last season when they failed to get a point from their last two matches, beaten by Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig in the final two group stage matches, exiting the competition and falling into the UEFA Europa League, where they went all the way to the final against Villarreal but were beaten 11-10 on penalties with David De Gea not making a single save, missing his penalty. Water under the bridge now.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to get out of the group stages of the Champions League this season, after learning a lot last season in their tough group, despite beating PSG and Leipzig in the opening two matches, losing to Istanbul Basaksehir, then beating the Turkish side, falling to defeat against PSG and Leipzig in the final two matches of the competition. This season though, United are playing positively with the signings that have been made and the experience brought to the squad should give United a lot more going forward. Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane will add a lot of that themselves.

Previous meetings with Young Boys and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Young Boys have met a total of two times in the UEFA Champions League. United have won both matches, scoring four goals. Both matches were played in the group stages of the competition during the 2018/19 season. United won the first match 3-0 with Paul Pogba scoring a brace (one goal from the penalty spot) and Anthony Martial scoring the other. The match was played at the Stade de Suisse. At Old Trafford, it was a 1-0 victory for United with Marouane Fellaini scoring the only goal of the match. United will be seeking to continue their unbeaten run against the Swiss side.

There is no real connection between Manchester United and Young Boys. United have never bought a player from the Swiss club and Young Boys have never bought or loaned a player directly from United. However, a player who has previously played for United has played for Young Boys. Saidy Janko, who was once part of the United academy was loaned to the Swiss side during the 2019/20 season. Janko started life at FC Zurich and was purchased by United in the summer of 2013, playing in the academy. He made one appearance for United’s first team,28 for the U23s, scoring one goal and six assists and four appearances for the U19s.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face BSC Young Boys in the UEFA Champions League at the Stade de Suisse on Tuesday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper has started to find that form that helped him become the goalkeeper he has been for United so far this season. He is close to rediscovering his best for the club and has played a big part in the results the club has produced this season. United are undefeated in the Premier League, winning three times and drawing once with De Gea making many saves to deny their opposition, conceding three goals in the four matches, keeping one clean sheet. This match may not be considered as a big one for United but it is important that they get a win on the table in this competition so they do not exit it as easy as they did last season.

Solskjaer could well make a change in this department with Tom Heaton ready to step in, but I feel that it would be too much of a gamble a this stage with United needing a good start in the group stage this season, as much as it did for them last season with two wins in the first two matches. De Gea will get his rest in the coming weeks in the Carabao Cup as it is possible that either Heaton or Dean Henderson will start against West Ham United in the League Cup, just days after facing the Hammers in the Premier League. De Gea has earned his place at this stage of the season and I am sure he will keep performing.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United’s defence is strong this season and there is scope for rotation. Against the Young Boys, I envisage that Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane will keep their places in the centre of defence as they provide defensive purity and astuteness. Varane’s Champions League experience will be good for United with many players not having featured in the competition as much as him in the past, at least not for United who have struggled to qualify over a few times. However, this is the second season for United under Solskjaer in the competition. United and Solskjaer will be determined to keep United in this competition each season.

Luke Shaw will keep his place in the left-back role, after a fine start to the season, which is a continuation of his form last season for United and for England during Euro 2020, which as delayed until this summer with England reaching the final, although they lost on penalties to Italy. Aaron Wan-Bissaka could find himself being rested for this match with Diogo Dalot being tested for his suitability in the right-back position, with the former not having much attacking play to his game, which needs to change moving forward as United will rely on with wide players to play the ball further up the pitch.

Midfield: Fred, Donny van de Beek

United have some problems with the midfield this season and the lack of defensive-minded midfielders is that problem. Nemanja Matic is the only experienced midfielder in this area and being over the age of 30 and losing his pace and ability to run in matches played close together, United will have to find a solution and that has not happened during the summer transfer window. Scott McTominay had to go through groin surgery in the past few weeks and Fred is not the midfielder that many think he could be, so this, of course, weakens United even more in this area. McTominay is the likely player to step in, when fit. But that might not be for this match.

Ahead of the Newcastle match, it was expected that Fred would be ineligible to future because of him not heading to Brazil for the international break, but the FIFA regulation five day ban was not enforced, so in the hours ahead of the match, he was able to be added to the squad, although he did not feature for United. I would expect him to be used in this match, if McTominay is not available, which is expected although he could feature on the bench. I don’t think Fred and Paul Pogba play well in a midfield two, so Donny van de Beek could start alongside the Brazilian, seeking to find his feet and gain more starts for his club.

Attacking Midfield: Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba

There are some great players able to play in these positions for United and with some rotation expected, but not necessary at this time, I think Solskjaer will pick the players he can rely on from the start of the match, making changes during the match to give others some game time and grind out a result with some who started the match able to get some rest ahead of Sunday’s trip to London to face West Ham. I think Jadon Sancho will kepis starting place, but be switched to the right-wing. This will allow Pogba to play on the left, where he has played well this season, especially against Leeds United in a 5-1 victory.

Pogba has seven assists to his name so far this season and will be seeking to continue that form, perhaps scoring some goals for himself. It might not work for Solskjaer, this formation, but United need to be playing to their strengths, allowing the players to get something started, then when two goals up, make some changes to grind out the victory, giving some other players a chance to shine. Bruno Fernandes will play through the middle, which is great considering his goal against Newcastle and the fact he has four to his name so far this season. With his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo playing ahead of him, this could be a good match.

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is back for United. He scored a brace on his second debut for the club, extending his goalscoring tally to 120 goals with a great of 4,507 days between appearances for the club, which is impressive. From the very start of the match against the Magpies, Ronaldo seemed to be in the zone seeking to show his critics what he is still capable, which I am sure they have now seen and will regret criticising his age and the fact that many players have started to decline well before reaching the same age. Ronaldo is a different type of player and that is what makes it so much better. If he signed for Manchester City, it would be different.

The critics would have bee praising him for the player he was but because United is involved, that is where the criticism comes from. Some pundits and former players seem unable to praise United for much as they hate them so much – but it keeps them relevant as they are always talking about United. Ronaldo is here to continue his great career, back to where it first started in the big time. He has so much more to give United and so much to achieve. Recently becoming the highest scoring international player, he will be seeking to become the highest scoring player for United, which will be a big challenge for him.

Substitutes: Tom Heaton; Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay; Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Elanga

Solskjaer will be able to name up to 12 substitutes on the bench in the Champions League, much like the Europa League last season. He will also be able to make up to five changes per match in the group stages, six in the knockout stages if the match goes into extra time. There will be no away goals either, which makes everything level, which is going to be more interesting to see which teams have what it takes to win their matches, at least in the knockout stages when it becomes operational. In goal, Tom Heaton will remain on the bench as I feel it will be too early to start him in this competition with United needing a win from that start.

In defence, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be available, should Solskjaer need to make defensive changes against the Swiss side. In midfield, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay, if fit, could all give the manager some different options. It is the attacking areas that give a lot more quality though with Edinson Cavani, if fit, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Elanga all seemingly available for a place on the bench in the elite European competition. Solskjaer should utilise all his changes, keeping his squad fit for their upcoming challenge in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup too.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Manchester United seeking a winning start to Champions League group against the BSC Young Boys

BSC Young Boys -v- Manchester United

UEFA Champions League

Stade de Suisse, Bern, Switzerland

Tuesday 14 September 2021, KO 17:45 BST

Referee: François Letexier Assistants: Cyril Mugnier, Mehdi Rahmouni

Fourth Official: Thomas Leonard

VAR: Delajod Willy Assistant VAR: Massimiliano Irrati

Manchester United return to UEFA Champions League action when they face Young Boys at the Stage de Suisse in Bern on Tuesday evening. It will be the clubs first participation in the competition since their group stage exit last season when they failed to get a point from their last two matches, beaten by Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig in the final two group stage matches, exiting the competition and falling into the UEFA Europa League, where they went all the way to the final against Villarreal but were beaten 11-10 on penalties with David De Gea not making a single save, missing his penalty. Water under the bridge now.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to get out of the group stages of the Champions League this season, after learning a lot last season in their tough group, despite beating PSG and Leipzig in the opening two matches, losing to Istanbul Basaksehir, then beating the Turkish side, falling to defeat against PSG and Leipzig in the final two matches of the competition. This season though, United are playing positively with the signings that have been made and the experience brought to the squad should give United a lot more going forward. Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane will add a lot of that themselves.

Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: WWDWWD

Newcastle United 4-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Southampton 1-1 D, Leeds United 5-1 W, Everton 4-0 W, Brentford 2-2 D

Goals: 4 – Bruno Fernandes, 3 – Mason Greenwood, 2 – Cristiano Ronaldo, 1 – Fred, Jesse Lingard

Assists: 7 – Paul Pogba, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane

Young Boys – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: WDWWWW

FC Zurich 4-0 W, FC Basel 1-1 D, Ferencvaros 3-2 W, Ferencvaros 3-2 W, Littau 4-1 W, CFR Cluj 3-1 W

Goals: 6 – Jordan Siebatcheu, 4 – Michel Aebischer, Meschack Elia, 3 – Vincent Sierro, 2 – Christian Fassnacht, Ulisses Garcia, Cédric Zesiger, 1 – Wilfried Kanga, Felix Mambimbi, Moumi Ngamaleu

Assists: 4 – Moumi Ngamaleu, 3 – Meschack Elia, 2 – Michel Aebischer, Jordan Siebatcheu, 1 – Christian Fassnacht, Ulisses Garcia, Silvan Hefti, Fabian Rieder, Vincent Sierro

Previous meetings with Young Boys and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Young Boys have met a total of two times in the UEFA Champions League. United have won both matches, scoring four goals. Both matches were played in the group stages of the competition during the 2018/19 season. United won the first match 3-0 with Paul Pogba scoring a brace (one goal from the penalty spot) and Anthony Martial scoring the other. The match was played at the Stade de Suisse. At Old Trafford, it was a 1-0 victory for United with Marouane Fellaini scoring the only goal of the match. United will be seeking to continue their unbeaten run against the Swiss side.

There is no real connection between Manchester United and Young Boys. United have never bought a player from the Swiss club and Young Boys have never bought or loaned a player directly from United. However, a player who has previously played for United has played for Young Boys. Saidy Janko, who was once part of the United academy was loaned to the Swiss side during the 2019/20 season. Janko started life at FC Zurich and was purchased by United in the summer of 2013, playing in the academy. He made one appearance for United’s first team,28 for the U23s, scoring one goal and six assists and four appearances for the U19s.

Team News: Three players unlikely to feature for United against the Young Boys because of injury whilst the Young Boys could be missing up to five players because of injury. United have a few doubts too.

Alex Telles (Ankle/Foot), Amad Diallo (Thigh) and Marcus Rashford (Shoulder) have all been ruled out of the clash against Young Boys in the Champions League. Phil Jones has not been named in the squad for the competition, so he will not play any part in the competition. Fred is eligible to participate after the FIFA suspension was revoked before the Newcastle match. Edinson Cavani missed the Magpies match with a knock and Scott McTominay is not quite ready to play again after groin surgery. Dean Henderson played for the U23s with Jones on Saturday but will probably miss this match too as his fitness level will need to improve.

Fabian Lustenberger (Achilles), Jean-Pierre Nsame (Achilles), Joël Monteiro (Knee), Esteban Petignat (Unknown) and Nico Maier (Unknown) look set to miss the visit of United in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, although with little information on their fitness available, there is a chance that one or two with the less serious injuries could be available. The Young Boys have played United twice in this competition, losing twice, conceding four goals and not yet scoring a singe goal against them. It could be a good chance for them to fight back, but that seems unlikely, even with United coming out of a turbulent period for the club.

Predicted Starting XI: Ronaldo, Sancho, Fernandes and Greenwood to lead the attack; Pogba and Fred in midfield against the Young Boys?

Solskjaer has a few problems in his squad at this stage of the season with Telles, Amad and Rashford out injured and McTominay and Henderson working on their fitness. There is a possibility that McTominay could be back in action this week, but personally, I think it might be too early for him at this stage. Fred will be back, which is unfortunate for United as he is not in the greatest form of his career and seems to have more critics than supporters. That said, he has immense energy and can play a part, however little he offers going forward. The likes of Ronaldo, Varane, Sancho and Fernandes will be crucial in this match to get a win for United.

I think David De Gea will keep his starting place, as he has for the last four competitive matches so far this season. Diogo Dalot could come in for Aaron Wan-Bissaka with the Portuguese right-back given a test to show his suitability. Luke Shaw will keep his place on the left. Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire will partner in the centre of defence. In midfield, Donny van de Beek and Fred could combine well, but it is not an ideal midfield combination. Behind the striker, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho could add something going forward, as all three played well against Newcastle. Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the line.

Match Prediction: United to get another win in Bern on Tuesday evening with Ronaldo and Fernandes seeking to open the Champions League group stage in style?

I expect United to get their first win in the group stage of the Champions League this season. They have previously beaten the Young Boys twice at the same stage of the competition, facing them in the 2018/19 season under the management of Jose Mourinho. Solskjaer will be matched up against David Wagner for the second time for United, facing Huddersfield Town in his second match in charge of the club, winning 3-1 with a brace from Paul Pogba and another goal from Nemanja Matic. United will be more than ready for the Champions League this season, having an easier group than last season.

That said, it will not be a walk in the park for United. They have done well this season with three wins and a draw in the Premier League, sitting at the top of the league based on goals scored, having the same goal difference as Chelsea, who also have ten points at this stage of the season. The demolition of Newcastle United at Old Trafford saw glimpses of the United of old breaking down the opposition with Ronaldo scoring a brace, Fernandes scoring a banger and Jesse Lingard getting in on the action too. This could be a high-scoring match for United, providing they continue on the right path.

Young Boys 0-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW