Nobody thought it would go this way when the groups were announced. Manchester United stand on the cusp of elimination from the Champions League after just a single win in five games.
Next up- Bayern Munich who will be motivated to put things right after losing 5-1 on the weekend. United need to beat Bayern at Old Trafford and hope that Galatasaray and Copenhagen play out a draw in the other fixture to ensure second place and qualification for the knockout rounds. The game is on Tuesday 12 December, at 8 PM GMT.
Erik ten Hag’s side have been the architects of their own downfall this campaign and ultimately, they’ve left their destiny out of their hands.
Here’s the match preview, buildup, team news, and more as United try to make their last stand in the Champions League against an angry Bayern Munich!
Man United vs Bayern Munich preview
United’s UCL campaign has been one long episode of harakiri. From leading in 4 of their five games, they’ve remarkably managed to drop points in all but one. Their only win came at home to Copenhagen, and they needed a last-minute penalty save to ensure that too.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich have been the comfortable horse at the top of the mountain, looking down at the scrap happening beneath them. The Bavarians dropped their first points of the group stage with a draw against Copenhagen in their last game but qualification and first place are already sealed.
However, United are facing Bayern at the worst possible time due to events on the weekend. Not only did the Red Devils surrender in a limp defeat at home to Bournemouth, they’ll face a motivated Bayern after they lost 5-1 to Frankfurt.
What would have been a meaningless game for Bayern in the grand scheme of things has now turned into a revenge mission to put things right, hardly an ideal scenario for United.
Man United vs Bayern Munich predicted lineups
Man United team news
Due to injury troubles and Ten Hag’s own reluctance to change things when they are not working, United’s lineup is fairly easy to predict.
The only player who could return from injury is Victor Lindelof but he’s hardly a transformative presence in the team so no big changes are expected.
Andre Onana will have to exorcise his UCL nightmares with a strong performance here. In front of him Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof could reform their partnership to allow Luke Shaw to move to his preferred left-back spot. Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be preferred over Diogo Dalot on the right for his defensive capabilities.
The midfield might have a change if Kobbie Mainoo is trusted to play the role of the orchestrator against the German team’s intense press. Scott McTominay remains the unlikely source of goals in this team so it would be a surprise if he didn’t start.
Rashford’s wait for a start will continue as the attack has been competent with Garnacho and Antony. UCL’s top scorer Rasmus Hojlund will lead the line.
Predicted Man United XI: Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Mainoo, McTominay, Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho, Hojlund
Bayern Munich team news
Bayern suffered an injury blow on the weekend when Serge Gnabry came off with a hamstring injury. It is expected to rule him out of this game.
There are no new injury worries for them, with Matthijs de Ligt and Bouna Sarr the other absentees. After resting some players on the weekend, the full-strength is likely to be called upon by Tuchel who will be itching for a reaction for the 5-1 loss.
That means the return of Jamal Musiala and Thomas Muller to the team.
Predicted Bayern XI: Neuer, Min-Jae, Upamecano, Mazraoui, Davies, Kimmich, Goretzka, Musiala, Muller, Sane, Kane
Man United vs Bayern Munich prediction
Even though the game is significantly more important for United than it is for Bayern, it is hard to back Ten Hag’s side in their current form and with their current mentality.
United might start quickly and with intent to put things right, but if Bayern wrestle control for a spell in the game, which is an absolute certainty, expect the Red Devils’ head to drop as they limp to an elimination from the tournament.
It’s a harsh evaluation, but this team hasn’t given the footballing world any reason to think otherwise.
FootTheBall predicts Man United 1-3 Bayern Munich.