Manchester United, under immense pressure, are determined for nothing but a win as they prepare to host Group A leaders Bayern Munich at Old Trafford for their Champions League clash on Tuesday evening.
The Red Devils find themselves at the bottom of the group with five points, merely a point behind Copenhagen and Galatasaray. Erik ten Hag’s team understands that securing all three points is imperative to keep any hope of progressing to the next round alive.
Should United secure a win and a draw occurs between Copenhagen and Galatasaray, it will suffice to propel the English giants forward and extend their Champions League journey.
This places Manchester’s red side in a precarious situation, especially following their disheartening 3-0 defeat at the hands of Bournemouth on Saturday.
United is in dire need of a morale boost as the hectic holiday season approaches, but facing off against the formidable German champions might only deepen their woes.
United continues to miss Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro, and Lisandro Martinez, not anticipated to return until January. Christian Eriksen is still a couple of weeks away from resuming play. Mason Mount and Victor Lindelof are closer to a return but remain sidelined for this fixture.
Bayern, missing Matthijs de Ligt, Bouna Sarr, Tarek Buchmann, and Tom Hulsmann, are likely to make alterations after their recent heavy defeat in the league, a 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.
United’s loss to Bournemouth marked their sixth home defeat this season across all competitions, with three of those losses occurring in their last five matches at Old Trafford.
They’ve conceded 14 goals in their five Champions League games, with only Antwerp (15) conceding more in this year’s group stage.
Bayern, undefeated in their five Group A games, winning four and drawing one, have triumphed in six of their last seven away matches in the Champions League.
They’ve emerged victorious in their recent encounters against United, with a 4-3 win in the reverse fixture and a 3-1 triumph in April 2014.
Both teams enter this match seeking swift redemption, with United suffering a 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth and Bayern surprisingly thrashed 5-1 by Eintracht.
The Bavarians, assured of their top spot, have little at stake but are unlikely to pass up the chance to eliminate the club that famously defeated them in the 1999 final.
Eager to recover from their Bundesliga loss, Bayern has already clinched victories in their away matches in the Champions League against Copenhagen (2-1) and Galatasaray (3-1).
Facing a United side struggling for consistency, Bayern has an opportunity to compound the Red Devils’ misery and potentially terminate their Champions League campaign for another year, casting doubt on Ten Hag’s tenure in the dugout.
United desperately need a win, but even that might not be enough for them to go through. After all the poor results they’ve had in this Champions League campaign, fact is that they don’t even deserve to go through. Still, they will be desperate to avoid another embarrassing result in front of their fans, so they should score. Goals for Bayern are a guarantee these days, except for their last match, which was quite odd. Having said that, our money is on a high-scoring game.