Manchester United is preparing to take on Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the Champions League group stage this evening.
After a one-season absence, the Red Devils are back in the prestigious European club competition and are determined to make amends for their 2021/22 campaign, which saw them eliminated in the round of 16 by Atletico Madrid.
Despite a string of injuries and unavailable players, manager Erik ten Hag is expecting a strong performance from his depleted squad following consecutive Premier League defeats to Brighton and Arsenal.
United is hoping for their first-ever away victory against Bayern tonight.
Andre Onana has been the consistent starter, playing every minute of the club’s Premier League campaign and keeping one clean sheet. The Cameroonian international is expected to maintain his place in goal against the German champions.
While Raphael Varane trained with his teammates on Tuesday, he hasn’t traveled with the team. Along with Varane, United will be without Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, and Tyrell Malacia due to injuries.
Ten Hag confirmed Maguire’s absence, and it appears the manager will deploy Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martinez, and Sergio Reguilon as his back four, with Jonny Evans on the bench.
Against Brighton, Ten Hag experimented with a diamond midfield formation, which didn’t yield the desired results. It’s likely he will return to his favored 4-2-3-1 setup, which can transition into a 4-3-3 when out of possession.
In the center of the park, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen are expected to start, with Bruno Fernandes assuming the number 10 role. Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat are unavailable for the game.
Fernandes will likely have additional defensive responsibilities, as Scott McTominay may be benched in favor of another attacker tonight. Fernandes had a subpar performance against Brighton.
Rasmus Hojlund, who made a lively full debut against Brighton and came close to scoring his first goal, is set to lead the line. As previously mentioned, Alejandro Garnacho could start on the left wing, with Marcus Rashford moving to the right.
These two players may switch positions but will need to provide defensive support for the full-backs. Bayern boasts a world-class striker in Harry Kane, but they are also potent from the wings, with Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, and Leroy Sane in their squad.