Potential Manchester United Lineup for Crucial Champions League Match against Bayern Munich with Rashford and Martial Absent from Training

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Manchester United’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League hang by a thread as they host Bayern Munich in their final group match of Group A.

The equation is far from straightforward for Erik ten Hag’s men, whose destiny is no longer in their hands after they squandered two-goal leads away against FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray last month.

United are bottom of Group A with four points, nine behind already qualified Bayern and one behind Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen.

To reach the Round of 16, United must beat Bayern and hope their rivals draw in Denmark. A draw could still guarantee Europa League qualification, provided Galatasaray beat Copenhagen, while defeat would see United finish bottom of the group.

Given the erratic nature of United’s season, all three outcomes are eminently possible. As it’s hitherto been the case this season, United arrive into the fixture with more questions than answers, as Erik ten Hag complained a lengthy injury list has disrupted his plans.

Long-term absentees Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez remain out, while Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial missed training on Monday.

Victor Lindelof, however, has recovered from a knock and should feature. 

Here, Mail Sport takes a look at how United could line up for their crucial Champions League fixture.

Erik ten Hag believes Manchester United can still qualify for the Round of 16 of the Champions League ahead of their clash against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night

United's destiny is out of their hands after a 3-3 draw against Galatasaray last month

United’s destiny is out of their hands after a 3-3 draw against Galatasaray last month

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Goalkeeper

Andre Onana’s place in the starting XI on Wednesday night is assured, but there’s a valid argument to be made that United wouldn’t find themselves in a do-or-die situation against Bayern Munich if it wasn’t for him.

The Cameroonian’s mistakes cost his side in the reverse fixture in Germany and against Galatasaray, as United relinquished a two-goal lead in Istanbul.

Conversely, United would have already been eliminated had it not been for Onana’s injury time penalty save against FC Copenhagen back that preserved a crucial 1-0 win in October.

Keeping another clean sheet would go a long way towards helping United’s quest to qualify. 

Andre Onana will start against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night in the Champions League

Andre Onana will start against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night in the Champions League

 

Defence

Erik ten Hag has chopped and changed his back four more times than he’d care to remember this season and he may well do so again on Tuesday. 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka started the last two Champions League games but has found himself relegated to the bench in favour of Diogo Dalot against Chelsea and Bournemouth last week.

Wan-Bissaka is the better right-back of the two and the Portuguese’s insipid attacking displays suggest he could well be dropped.

Harry Maguire is pretty much guaranteed to retain his spot at centre-back with Victor Lindelof set to resume his partnership with the England international. 

The Swede missed the defeat against Bournemouth with a knock but was back in training on Monday and his return would allow Luke Shaw to shift to his natural left-back position.

Should Lindelof not be fit, ten Hag could switch Shaw to centre-back with Sergio Reguilon on the flank.

It could be argue a must-win game against one of the Champions League’s best teams would be the perfect scenario for Raphael Varane, but ten Hag clearly no longer trusts the Frenchman.

 

MAN UNITED PREDICTED STARTING XI VS BAYERN MUNICH

Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Amrabat, Fernandes (c); Antony, Garnacho, Hojlund. 

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Midfield

Injuries and a lack of suitable alternatives mean ten Hag has limited room for manoeuvre in midfield. The Dutchman opted for Sofyan Amrabat’s experience over Kobbie Mainoo’s youthful exuberance against Galatasaray two weeks ago and more of the same is expected on Tuesday night.

Mainoo shone against Everton on his Premier League debut at Goodison Park, but may be a better option to have off the bench in a game of such magnitude.

Scott McTominay should retain his spot alongside Amrabat largely by virtue of being one of United’s sole goal threats this season, with Bruno Fernandes deployed further forward.

It’s a big night for the United captain, who was again criticised for a lack of leadership in the dismal defeat to Bournemouth and will miss the trip to Anfield on Sunday through suspension. 

Scott McTominay has made himself virtually undroppable in recent weeks

Scott McTominay has made himself virtually undroppable in recent weeks

Sofyan Amrabat is expected to get the nod in midfield over Kobbie Mainoo on Tuesday night

Sofyan Amrabat is expected to get the nod in midfield over Kobbie Mainoo on Tuesday night

 

Attack

Rasmus Hojlund’s debut season at Old Trafford has been a case of famine at home and feast abroad. The Dane is yet to open his Premier League account after 12 games, but tops the Champions League scoring charts with five goals, including one in the reverse fixture in Munich three months ago.

And United must dearly hope the trend continues on Tuesday night if they are to upset Bayern.

Alejandro Garnacho has cemented his place in the side over the past month and looks set to retain his spot, as his Antony on the other flank.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both missed training on Monday through illness, but the truth is neither would be particularly missed on current form. 

Rasmus Hojlund has scored five times in the Champions League this season and netted against Bayern in Munich when United lost 4-3 in September

Rasmus Hojlund has scored five times in the Champions League this season and netted against Bayern in Munich when United lost 4-3 in September

Anthony Martial could be out of the clash against Bayern after missing training on Monday

Anthony Martial could be out of the clash against Bayern after missing training on Monday 

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