The UEFA Champions League action is back again. This midweek after the International break and we are heading on to Game Week 5 awaiting some exciting fixtures. Group F is still anybody’s group as all the four teams still have the opportunity to finish as the table toppers. At the moment it’s Manchester United and Villarreal are the ones holding the knockout hopes more alive. Both share 7 points each to be on the first and second spots respectively. When both of them lock horns this midweek, we can expect an enthralling game. As both teams will certainly look to grab the whole three points which can secure them their knockout spot.
Interim Head Coach Micheal Carrick will manage United tomorrow. As the Manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is sacked after the team’s poor run in the Premier League. After the draw against Atalanta in the last UCL outing, they lost both the league games. Manchester United just managed to score 1 and concede 6. Of course under Carrick for the first time, things are not going to be easy for the red devils.
On the other hand, Villareal is also having a poor league season. They have managed to win just thrice in the whole league so far but in the UCL things are much better. The only game they lost was the last-minute heartbreak by Ronaldo at Old Trafford.
Villareal will miss the service of Striker Gerard Moreno as he is out of a Hamstring injury. They are hoping to cover his absence with the likes of Dia, Pino, and Alacacer. In form Winger, Arnault Danjuma is expecting to make his comeback into the playing XI after missing the last league game against Celta Vigo.
Formation : 4-3-3
Goalkeeper: Geronimo Rulli
Defense : Juan Foyth, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Alfonso Pedraza
Midfield : Daniel Parejo, Manuel Trigueros, Etienne Capoue
Attack : Arnaut Danjuma, Boulaye Dia, Yeremi Pino
On the other side. United has several injury concerns as they will miss Edinson Cavani, Luke Shaw, Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba, and Raphael Varane. Even though they miss a number of talents they have apt replacements on the bench to fill the voids and make themselves strong for the important encounter.
Formation : 4-2-3-1
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
Defense: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles
Midfield: Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic, Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford
Attack: Cristiano Ronaldo
Players to watch
The Star Striker has not failed to score in a UCL game he played this season. He has already scored 5 goals in 4 games while 2 of them were late winners and one was an injury-time equalizer. Despite his 36, he is still a big threat for the defenders if he is having a good ball supply upfront. He is not having a season of his standards right at the moment, but the fact that he scored 9 goals and assisted a further 2 in 13 appearances for United this season means his presence in the ground is always a threat for any opponents.
The 32-Year-old central midfielder is having a pretty good season this time around with his versatile performances in both La Liga and the Champions League. He is consistent with his ball supply. He has assisted thrice this season and has an average of 3.3 key passes per match. No one else in the side created more big chances than him, and his ability to help the defense down the line makes him a threat that Manchester United should address.
A win in this fixture can take both sides to 10 points and that will take them very close to a spot in the knockout stages of the competition. At the same time, for both sides, a defeat means they are in some serious trouble. If United can get something out of this fixture, the head-to-head advantage over both Atalanta and Villareal will help them if they got tied in points with any of them in the table.
These scenarios will make this match an exciting encounter and both teams will look to grab the whole three points to make themselves comfortable at the top of the group. And the fact that many people are anxious to watch United playing under the interim coach Micheal Carrick will definitely put the game in the limelight.
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