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United in Bayern’s backyard

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Bayern Munich vs. Manchester United preview

With the 2023-24 Champions League season to begin, we have been served with mouth-watering clashes on matchday one. There is Paris Saint Germian facing Borussia Dortmund, newcomers Newcastle United hosting taking on seven-time champions AC Milan However, the most significant clash will be between German champions Bayern Munich and returning English giants Manchester United.

The two teams have a rich history in the European competition, but United have fallen off the perch over the last few years. At the same time, Bayern Munich have won the Champions League titles two times in the last ten years. On paper, Bayern Munich appear to be far stronger, and this is also reflected in the two team’s form. Bayern Munich have started the season strongly with three wins and one draw.

One of the major concerns for the Bavarians last season was the absence of an elite striker. That has now been covered with the signing of Harry Kane, who already has four goals in four games. However, Kane was brought for the big game like the one against United, and it is here where he will have to justify his €100 million price tag. The club has also added Serie A-winning defender Kim Min Jae, Konrad Laimer (from RB Leipzig), and Raphael Guerrero (from Borussia Dortmund).

Manchester United also dived into the transfer market to improve their squad and build on their third-place finish in the Premier League table. The Red Devils signed Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount, Andre Onana, Sofyan Amrabat (on loan) and Sergio Reguilon (on loan).

However, the signings have failed to make the expected kind of impact. On top of that, the club are without their top two right wingers. While Antony has been out of contention after being accused of domestic violence, Jadon Sancho has been training with the reserves after having a spat with Erik Ten Hag. These issues, coupled with their performances on the pitch, have only made the situation more bleak.

United are currently 13th in the table and have lost both of their previous games, making it a very precarious time for them to face Thomas Tuchel’s men.

Bayern Munich vs. Manchester United lineups 

Bayern Munich lineup 

Bayern Munich are currently sweating over the fitness of their star defensive midfield Joshua Kimmich, who went off in the second half against Bayer Leverkusen. The 28-year-old is suffering from an inflamed tendon, and a call will be taken by the medical team before the game over his inclusion. The club, though, have an able replacement in Laimer should Kimmich fail to make the cut.

The other question will be who will start in the centre-back spot alongside Kim Min Jae. Tuchel has hinted that Matthijs de Ligt still needs to work on his tactical awareness, which means Dayot Upamecano will get the nod. In attack, Serge Gnabry will be preferred alongside Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala.

Bayern Munich lineup: Ulreich; Davies, Min Jae, Upamecano, Mazraoui; Laimer, Goretzka; Sane, Musiala, Gnabry; Kane 

Manchester United lineup

Meanwhile, Manchester United have their work cut out with injuries and other situations depleting their squad depth. This means that Erik Ten Hag has few options to rotate his squad. However, despite this, he still can put on the field a strong 11 that, when on song, can go toe-to-toe with any team in the world.

Adding Onana to the ranks has helped United improve their playing from the back. However, it is the defence where they have been woeful, conceding ten goals with their performance against Brighton coming in for criticism. In attack, too, they have only scored six goals, which makes their clash against Bayern Munich a daunting task.

Manchester United lineup: Onana; Reguilon, Lindelof, Martinez, Dalot; Casemiro, Eriksen; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund 

Bayern Munich vs. Manchester United predictions 

Manchester United could not have asked for a worse moment to face Bayern Munich with issues plaguing the club both on and off the field. However, the club also have a tendency to bring out their best when they are down.

However, Bayern Munich at home are too good a club to drop any points. And with the addition of Harry Kane, they are now one of the favourites to win the Champions League title.

FootTheBall predicts a 4-1 win for Bayern Munich.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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