Thu. Oct 29th, 2020

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Man United’s Champions League group opponents profiled

2 min read

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United will face Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, and Istanbul Basaksehir in this season’s Champions League group stages.

The draw for the competition took place on Thursday afternoon, and it saw United drawn against a formidable trio of opponents.

Top of the bill are French champions and last season’s runners-up Paris Saint-Germain.

They are followed by German side RB Leipzig who reached the semi-finals last term, and current Turkish Super Lig champions Istanbul Basaksehir.

We took a look at United’s opponents in greater detail here.

Paris Saint-Germain

Last season’s beaten finalists predominantly played in a 4-3-3 formation.

The Ligue 1 giants are known for their scintillating attack but also conceded the joint-fewest number of goals in the Champions League last term (6), and that was despite going all the way to the final.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe pose an obvious goal threat, however, former United player Angel Di Maria claimed the joint-highest assist return in Europe last season with six.

RB Leipzig

Under Julian Nagelsmann, the German side have tended to line up in a 3-4-3 shape. However, they’re renowned for being a tactically fluid side with lots of rotations.

Leipzig press aggressively without the ball and are fast and direct with it. They finished third in Bundesliga last term, although only champions Bayern Munich had a higher combined Expected Goals total and lower Expected Goals Against total.

Exciting attacker Christopher Nkunku ranked second in the Bundesliga for Expected Assists per 90 (0.41) and fifth for key passes attempted (68) last season.

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Istanbul Basaksehir

The Turkish champions often use a 4-1-4-1 formation. They are a side that likes to dominate the ball and had the best defence in their league last season (34 conceded).

Former Premier League striker Demba Ba, who had spells at Chelsea, Newcastle, and West Ham United, is one of their biggest threats.

There is no doubt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be keen to get points on the board early in Group H as this is a tricky draw for United.

But if he can repeat the heroics from their 2019 meeting with PSG in the Round of 16, there’s every chance the Reds can reach the next phase of the competition.

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