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

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Wednesday's Champions League clash between Young Boys and Manchester United.

Manchester United will look to get their 2018-19 Champions League challenge off to the perfect start when they travel to Switzerland to take on Young Boys on Wednesday night.

United lost to Sevilla in the first knockout round of the Champions League last season, while this will be Young Boys' first ever appearance in the group stages of the competition, and they will be hoping for a historic win.

Young Boys

Young Boys have finally managed to book their spot in the group stages of the Champions League. They had failed in each of their five previous attempts, but it was sixth time lucky as they beat Croatia's Dinamo Zagreb to reach the big time.

Each of the Swiss outfit's five previous attempts had ended in qualifying, including last season when they overcome Dynamo Kiev in the third qualifying round only to lose to Russian giants CSKA Moscow in the playoffs.

Young Boys did compete in the group stages of the Europa League last season, but failed to make it through to the knockout round of the competition, and they have actually only won two of their last 10 European matches.

It would be fair to say that the Swiss outfit's European experience is limited, but they did actually reach the semi-finals of the 1958-59 European Champion Clubs' Cup, where they lost 3-1 over two legs to French outfit Reims.

Gerardo Seoane's side have made a storming start to the new campaign, winning nine of their 10 matches in all competitions. Indeed, they have started the new Swiss season with six wins from six Super League matches to top the division.

Young Boys already have an eight-point lead at the top of the Swiss table, and ensured that they would progress in the Swiss Cup with a 3-2 success over FC Schaffhausen at the weekend.

Last season's league title was Young Boys' 12th in all, but their first since 1986. Wednesday will be a historic night at the Stade de Suisse, and the home side will be looking to pull off an incredible result against the 20-time English champions.

Recent form: LWLLDW
Recent form (all competitions): WDWWWW

Manchester United

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho applauds supporters following his side's 3-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur on August 27, 2018© Reuters

United will be searching for their third straight away win in all competitions when they travel to Switzerland this week.

Indeed, after back-to-back Premier League losses to Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur towards the end of last month, United have won at Burnley and Watford in their last two fixtures to ease the pressure on head coach Jose Mourinho.

The Red Devils are still down in eighth position in the Premier League table following a mixed start to the season, but there have been a lot of positive signs in their last two matches, and they will be eyeing another away success on Wednesday night.

It is certainly an interesting period of the season for the 20-time English champions as they host Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League this weekend before welcoming Derby County in the EFL Cup next week. The month will then end with a trip to West Ham United in the Premier League on September 29.

Their focus will currently be on the Champions League, however, and opening their Group H challenge with a win. Drawn alongside Juventus and Valencia, United will know that the two fixtures with Young Boys could play a huge role in determining whether they are able to book their spot in the knockout round of the tournament.

United did progress through the group stages last season, but lost 2-1 on aggregate to Sevilla in the round of 16. The Red Devils have only actually lost three of their last 20 European matches, although they have been beaten on each of their last two visits to Switzerland, with both of those matches coming against Basel.

United have had a disappointing few seasons in the Champions League, but Mourinho knows what it takes to win this competition, and it is imperative that the club gets off to a positive start in Bern.

Recent form: WWLWDL
Recent form (all competitions): LWLLWW

Team News

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford goes head to head with Phil Bardsley of Burnley during their Premier League clash on September 2, 2018© Reuters

Young Boys are still without the services of Jordan Lotomba and Sandro Lauper through knee and ankle injuries respectively, but Miralem Sulejmani returned from a concussion in the 3-2 win over FC Schaffhausen at the weekend.

Former Newcastle United defender Kevin Mbabu will start for the home side, while 34-year-old Guillaume Hoarau - who has seven goals in 10 appearances this season - will lead the attack.

Nicolas Ngamaleu will also feature in an attacking position for Young Boys, who have an important league game against 20-time Swiss champions Basel this weekend.

Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic will both miss Saturday's Premier League clash with Wolves through suspension, and the pair are therefore expected to be handed starting roles for this match.

Luke Shaw will also return having overcome the head injury that he suffered on England duty, while there could be a midfield position for summer arrival Fred as Ander Herrera is still struggling to prove his fitness.

Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof will again feature at the heart of the defence, while Romelu Lukaku - who scored five times against Young Boys during his time at Everton - will look to continue his impressive start to the season as he prepares to lead the attack with help from Rashford and Alexis Sanchez.

Young Boys possible starting lineup:
Von Ballmoos; Mbabu, Wuthrich, Von Bergen, Benito; Sulejmani, Sanogo, Sow, Fassnacht; Hoarau, Ngamaleu

United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Pogba, Matic, Fred; Rashford, Lukaku, Sanchez

Head To Head

Wednesday will be the first ever meeting between Young Boys and United in European competition.

Young Boys have previously faced English opposition in the shape of Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, however, and have recorded just one win across those six matches.

United, meanwhile, have taken on Swiss side Basel on six occasions, with their most recent meetings occurring last season. The Red Devils won 3-0 at Old Trafford, but suffered a 1-0 defeat in Switzerland in November.

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We say: Young Boys 1-2 United

Young Boys have made a fine start to the season, and will be backed by a vocal crowd on Wednesday night. United have so much experience in this competition though, and we fancy the visitors to claim a narrow success in Bern.

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Who will win Wednesday's Champions League clash?

Young Boys
Manchester United
Young Boys
Manchester United
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Alexis Sanchez in action for Manchester United on August 10, 2018
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