Match Previews

Match preview: BSC Young Boys vs Manchester United

UEFA Champions League football is back for another season and United travel to Switzerland to face the native champions Young Boys in a Group H opener.

Visibly getting commitment again from his players, José Mourinho is aiming to do much better than last time out in European competition whereas Gerardo Seoane will be hoping to simply stay in with a chance of picking up some historic results for as long as possible.

It could be the start of a special chapter for both sides in the Champions League history book…

Kick-off: 20:00

Referee: Deniz Aytekin

Location: Stade de Suisse

Other Group H fixture: Valencia vs Juventus [20:00]

Young Boys

Top scorer: Guillaume Hoarau [4]

One to watch: Miralem Sulejmani

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Sandro Lauper; ligament (unknown)
  • Jordan Lotomba; knee (unknown)
  • Pedro Teixeira; knock (unknown)

Team breakdown

Setting up in a 4-4-2 formation, their talisman Guiliaume Hoarau has notched in 4 goals and left-wing play-maker Miralem Sulejmani has chalked-up 4 assists thus far.

Unbeaten in all 8 games so far, they have conceded as many and scored a whopping 25 in those encounters.

There are not many recognisable names for most of us but they rely on native Swiss players to form a solid base in the squad and have a sprinkle of foreign magic to hammer teams they are expected to whilst grinding it out against bigger tests.

A talking point for YB has been their artificial pitch – which will be something United are not quite used to but over a decade ago, they famously won this competition on one.

Key quote:

“We can’t change the [artificial] pitch … It’s clear they are not used to pitches like this, so in the beginning I guess it will be a special feeling.” – Gerardo Seoane

How they qualified: 

Facing the Croatian powerhouse Dynamo Zagreb over two legs, the Swiss side beat them 3-2 on aggregate – but have already played 6 league affairs.

The Red Devils

Talking points

A victory at Watford this past weekend made gave United their first two consecutive wins this season and confidence is creeping back into the squad.

Champions League football became a nightmare last season for United with them being embarrassingly eliminated by Sevilla in the round-of-sixteen while Liverpool and Manchester City both made it to the semi-final stage.

United also play their third and final away game on the spin and have the opportunity to make it three wins from three.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Ander Herrera; ankle (day to day)
  • Marcos Rojo; hamstring (unknown)
  • Antonio Valencia; knee (day to day)

Team news

David De Gea pulled off a few world class saves against Watford but Sergio Romero may well come in for some rotation between the sticks.

Luke Shaw is set to start the game following his nasty concussion.

New signing Diogo Dalot has a “chance” to play but may well begin on the bench with either Matteo Darmian or Ashley Young at right back instead.

Brazilian midfield duo Andreas Pereira and Fred could return to the team.

Marcus Rashford will be involved given his domestic suspension back home.

Key quote:

“We’re improving. We’ve found a certain balance in the team, especially in the competitive attitude. We’re creating lots of chances, we’re changing the way we attack opponents. We’ve also found a way of protecting ourselves in some specific defensive situations.” – José Mourinho

Possible key battles:

– Hoarau vs Smalling

– Sow vs Pogba

– Lukaku vs von Bergen

Match facts

  • This will be the first ever meeting between BSC Young Boys and Manchester United in any competition
  • Young Boys will be hosting an English outfit in major European competition for the first time since February 2015, when they faced Everton in the round-of-thirty-two in the Europa League – they lost 1-4 that day
  • United have only ever faced one side from Switzerland in European competition – FC Basel (winning two, drawing two and losing two of the previous six encounters)

UK television channel: BT Sport 2

Enjoy the match!

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