MX23RW : Friday, December 14 19:59:20
Nov 27, 2018 at 8pm UK at ​Old Trafford
Attendance: 72,876
Man UtdManchester United
1-0
Young Boys
Fellaini (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Manchester United vs. Young Boys - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League Group H clash between Manchester United and Youngs Boys, including team news, predictions and head-to-head records.

Manchester United could qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League with a match to spare when they host Young Boys at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Victory for the Red Devils - coupled with a draw or defeat for Valencia against Juventus - would seal their place in the knockout rounds, although Young Boys are also in need of a win to rescue any lingering hopes of playing European football after the New Year.


Man Utd

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho watches on during his side's Champions League Group H clash with Young Boys on September 19, 2018© Reuters

It must feel like a sense of one step forward, two steps backwards for Manchester United at the moment.

The last time Jose Mourinho's side graced the Champions League, they pulled off one of their best results of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era by beating Juventus 2-1 in Turin.

It was a game very few people expected them to win - and indeed a game they were slightly fortunate to win - but it blew Group H wide open and has left the Red Devils on the brink of qualifying for the last 16 with a game to spare.

However, the highs of that night in Turin already feel like a long time ago; United were quickly brought back down to earth when they were outclassed by Manchester City in the derby four days later, while their return to Premier League action after the international break was hardly inspiring.

Saturday's goalless draw against Crystal Palace - in which the Eagles had plenty of chances - leaves the Red Devils closer to the bottom of the table than the top, with 13 points separating them from 20th-placed Fulham and 14 separating them from leaders City.

Boredom amongst supporters is arguably the most damning indictment of United's current form, which has been the definition of inconsistent with four wins, four draws and four defeats in their last 12 matches across all competitions.

Mourinho's side have even been inconsistent within matches, often relying on comebacks in the second half to get anything out of them - as they did against Juventus on matchday four.

The triumph in Turin leaves United two points behind Juve and two above Valencia, which means that victory coupled with Valencia failing to win away to Juve would see United through to the knockout stages - but anything other than all three points would open the door for Valencia ahead of the two sides meeting at the Mestalla.

It is actually those away European days which have provided United's highlights in this competition so far; the Red Devils' two wins came at Young Boys and Juventus, whereas they are yet to even score a Champions League goal at Old Trafford this season - the first time since 2005 that they have failed to find the back of the net in successive Champions League home games.

United have never gone three European home games in a row without scoring, but they welcome Young Boys in the midst of their longest European home winless run since 2011-12 - three matches including their defeat to Sevilla last season.

Young Boys should be the easiest opponents in this group, though, so anything other than a win on Tuesday would surely heap more pressure on Mourinho's shoulders.

Recent Champions League form: WDLW
Recent form (all competitions): LWWWLD


Young Boys

Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial celebrates after scoring in his side's Champions League clash with Young Boys on September 19, 2018© Reuters

Young Boys are still very much at the stage of their European development that a trip to Old Trafford is treasured rather than targeted as a realistic source of points, even accounting for United's current struggles.

The Swiss outfit are taking part in the group stages of the Champions League for the first time, having ended a 32-year wait to win their domestic title last season.

United were their first opponents in the Champions League proper too, although even their synthetic pitch could not even out the gap in quality between the two sides as the Premier League outfit ran out comfortable winners.

A defeat to Juventus followed on matchday two before they picked up their first ever point in the competition at home to Valencia, although the reverse 3-1 loss in Spain leaves Gerardo Seoane's side in a precarious position.

Only a win will do at Old Trafford if Young Boys are to maintain any hope of at least finishing third and continuing their European journey in the Europa League next year, and even if they manage that then they would still need to beat Juventus to overtake Valencia.

The tournament debutants are likely to arrive already consigned to their fate, then, but they will be determined to enjoy their evening and should be able to play with the shackles off - something which cannot be said for United recently.

Young Boys are also in a winning habit domestically even if not in Europe, and their form in the Swiss Super League so far this term suggests that this will not be the last we see of them at Europe's top table.

Seoane's side have dropped just five points from the first 45 on offer to open up a mammoth 16-point gap at the top of the table after only 15 games, while also boasting the best defence and attack in the division by some distance.

The Champions League clearly represents a significant step up in class, but a team which has won 17 of 26 matches across all competitions this season can never been completely disregarded.

Sunday's match against second-placed Basel - whom they have already thrashed 7-1 this season - may be of greater importance for Young Boys, though, particularly considering they have won just one of their last 16 European away games and have only won two of their last 14 home or away.

Recent Champions League form: LLDL
Recent form (all competitions): WWWLWW


Team News

Eric Bailly in action for Manchester United on August 19, 2018© Reuters

United are expected to be without Victor Lindelof after he picked up an injury late on against Crystal Palace at the weekend, meaning that Eric Bailly could return to the side.

The Ivorian defender has not featured since being hauled off after just 19 minutes of his side's match against Newcastle United on October 6 and was left out of the squad entirely against the Eagles.

Diogo Dalot remains sidelined, but Luke Shaw is able to return after serving a one-game domestic ban, which should in turn see Ashley Young return to right-back.

Romelu Lukaku returned to the starting lineup at the weekend but drew another blank to stretch his drought at club level to 11 games, leaving Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez hopeful of a start through the middle.

Paul Pogba was the star of the show when these two sides last met, scoring twice and creating another, and the France international could be joined in midfield by Marouane Fellaini or Ander Herrera.

Young Boys, meanwhile, will be without Gregory Wuthrich due to a thigh injury, while Sekou Sanogo is suspended for this match.

Top-scorer Guillaume Hoarau is also expected to miss out with an ankle problem, joining long-term absentee Jordan Lotomba on the sidelines.

Man Utd possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Young, Smalling, Bailly, Shaw; Fellaini, Matic, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Martial

Young Boys possible starting lineup:
Von Ballmoos; Mbabu, Lauper, Von Bergen, Benito; Fassnacht, Sow, Aebischer, Sulejmani; Nsame, Assale


Head To Head

The reverse fixture in Switzerland was the first ever meeting between these two sides, with United running out 3-0 winners on matchday one.

Young Boys have faced English opposition on seven previous occasions in total, though, winning just one of those matches - against Tottenham Hotspur in 2010-11.


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We say: Man Utd 3-0 Young Boys

United are certainly not setting the world alight at the moment, but they are a still a class above Young Boys and should cruise to victory fairly comfortably on Tuesday night. Should results elsewhere also go as expected then that will be enough to see them through to the last 16.


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Who will win Tuesday's Champions League clash between Manchester United and Young Boys?

Man Utd
Draw
Young Boys
Man Utd
80.0%
Draw
6.7%
Young Boys
13.3%
Eric Bailly in action for Manchester United on August 19, 2018
Read Next:
Man Utd team news: Predicted XI vs. Young Boys
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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