Man United host Atletico Madrid in the deciding leg of their Round-of-16 UEFA Champions League tie on Tuesday as the Red Devils look to take their winning momentum from the weekend into qualifying for the next round of the competition. With both teams having played out a compelling 1-1 draw in Madrid last month, the return leg at Old Trafford is likely to produce a captivating encounter on Tuesday.
A scintillating hat-trick by Cristiano Ronaldo ensured the Red Devils secured a crucial three points against Spurs on Saturday. However, questions persist over the team’s collective ability to deliver results in imperative fixtures. Having won only two of their last five outings and keeping one clean sheet across all competitions, Man United fair miserably ahead of the tie against Atletico Madrid, with the hosts required to deliver a convincing performance in a bid to qualify for the next stage of the competition.
Moreover, with Ralf Rangnick having spoken bitterly of the team’s performances in recent weeks, United will be keen on delivering a compelling result on Tuesday. Having missed out with a calf injury against Spurs, Scott McTominay is expected to replace Nemanja Matic in the starting line-up against Atletico at Old Trafford having returned to training.
Both Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw returned to training on Monday, but doubt remains over the involvement of the English left-back. Nevertheless, the German manager is unlikely to make major changes to the squad that secured three points against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
Manchester United Starting XI Against Atletico Madrid
David De Gea (GK) – The team’s most reliable figure in the back-five, De Gea is expected to remain the manager’s first-choice keeper for the rest of the campaign. With the Spaniard expected to be tested on Tuesday, he will be keen on delivering another compelling performance on the night.
Diogo Dalot (RB) – Following a brief period on the bench, Dalot delivered a decent performance against Spurs on the weekend. Set to be tested by Atletico’s boisterous left-sided players, the Portuguese full-back will be keen on executing his role diligently.
Raphael Varane (RCB) – A commanding display saw Varane emerge only second-best to a mesmerizing Alex Telles on Saturday. Undeniably, the team’s most reliable centre-back, the Frenchman will be keen on remaining consistent over the remainder of the season.
Harry Maguire (LCB) – Despite an unfortunate own goal, Maguire will be keen on improving his performances heading into a crucial phase of the season. With questions persisting over his performances and place in the starting line-up, the Man United captain will be looking to avoid any hiccups against Atletico Madrid.
Alex Telles (LB) – United’s most impressive defender against Spurs, Telles will be keen on cementing his spot at full-back over the coming weeks. Having shown a glimpse of his potential on Saturday, the Brazilian will be keen on carrying over the momentum into the tie against the Rojiblancos at Old Trafford.
Scott McTominay (CDM) – Expected to overcome a muscle injury in time for the fixture, McTominay is likely to replace Nemanja Matic in central midfield on Tuesday. Although having struggled to deliver consistent performances, the Scotsman will be keen on contributing to the team’s prospects over the coming weeks.
Fred (CM) – Amongst United’s most impressive players on Saturday, Fred is likely to emerge as the foremost name on the team sheet against Atletico. Although yet to deliver consistently, the Brazilian is expected to remain a vital part of United’s approach against Simeone’s men.
Paul Pogba (CAM) – With Bruno Fernandes’ availability to play the full ninety minutes uncertain, Pogba is expected to retain his place in the starting line-up on Tuesday. Having witnessed a drop in his performances in recent outings, the Frenchman will be keen on returning to his best form over the coming fixtures.
Anthony Elanga (RW) – Having scored the team’s indispensable first-leg equaliser against Atletico, Elanga is expected to return to the starting line-up against Atletico. With Rashford having failed to make the most of his opportunity against Spurs, the Swedish youngster will be keen on cementing his spot in the starting XI over the coming weeks.
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Jadon Sancho (LW) – United’s most consistent and captivating creator in recent weeks, Sancho is expected to play a major role in contributing to the team’s prospects over the coming weeks. Having cemented his place in the starting line-up, the youngster will be keen on improving his tally of goal contributions over the coming weeks.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – Fresh from scoring a resonating hat-trick against Spurs, Ronaldo’s performance will be vital to United’s hopes for a result on Tuesday. With Atletico Madrid having proven to be a favourable opponent over the years, the Portuguese will be keen on thrusting Man United into the next stage of the competition.
Manchester United 2-3 Atletico Madrid
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