Bayern Munich vs Manchester United Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Bayern Munich and Manchester United will look to hit the ground running in the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

The curtains will fall on Matchday 1 of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League group stage. The marquee game of the first round of fixtures will take place at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night, where Bayern Munich will host Manchester United in a Group A encounter.

Bayern Munich did not start the season well, going down 3-0 to RB Leipzig in the DFL-Supercup. But the German giants have been unbeaten since then, winning three and drawing one of their Bundesliga games to sit jointly atop the table alongside Bayer Leverkusen, with Die Werkself ahead on goal difference.

On the other hand, Manchester United will head into the fixture on the back of a horrendous run of form. The Red Devils have been out of sorts thus far this season, losing three of their five Premier League games. And their year-long unbeaten run at home ended this past weekend, as Brighton & Hove Albion handed them a 3-1 defeat.

That last clash between the clubs saw Bayern Munich beat Manchester United 3-1 in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in 2014. And The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Bayern Munich

Thomas Tuchel has received positive updates on the team news front ahead of his side’s first UEFA Champions League outing this season. Against Manchester United on Wednesday, the Bayern Munich manager will be bereft of the services of only one first-team player.

Manuel Neuer is the only absentee, as he continues to recover from a long-term leg issue. Raphael But the good news is that Raphael Guerreiro (calf) and Kingsley Coman have resumed training and will be in contention to feature on Wednesday.

Sven Ulreich will continue to deputise in Neuer’s absence, with the German goalkeeper taking his place in the goal. Bayern Munich will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Manchester United.

Recent reports have claimed that Tuchel is not a fan of Matthijs de Ligt. So Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae should be the two central defenders, with the duo joining Alphonso Davies and Konrad Laimer in the backline.

As for the midfield unit, Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka are automatic picks, with Tuchel not having many resources in the department. The duo will provide a dogged cover to the defensive quartet while pushing Bayern forward on quick transitions.

Kimmich will run the show from the middle of the park, linking up with Jamal Musiala in the central areas. Meanwhile, Coman might miss out, with Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry being the two wide men. Finally, Harry Kane should spearhead the Bayern Munich attack against Manchester United on Wednesday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Laimer, Kim, Upamecano, Davies; Goretzka, Kimmich; Gnabry, Musiala, Sane; Kane

Manchester United

Unlike his counterpart in the Bayern Munich dugout, Erik ten Hag has many pressing roster issues hampering his preparations ahead of the trip to the Allianz Arena. The Manchester United boss will be without at least nine players this midweek.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the latest absentee, with the 25-year-old picking up a hamstring injury that will leave him on the sidelines for nearly two months. Wan-Bissaka has joined Tom Heaton (calf), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Luke Shaw (muscular injury), Kobbie Mainoo (ankle), Mason Mount (thigh), and Amad Diallo (knee) on the sidelines.

Antony and Jadon Sancho remain unavailable due to their off-field issues and will not travel to Munich this week. But there is some good news, with Raphael Varane and Mason Mount resuming training ahead of Wednesday’s clash. In addition, Amrabat and Mainoo are closing in on their returns after beginning light training.

Meanwhile, Manchester United will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, with Andre Onana taking his place between the sticks. And Victor Lindelof should combine with Lisandro Martinez in the central defensive pairing, with Varane not a part of the travelling squad.

Diogo Dalot and Sergio Reguilon are the only fit full-backs at Manchester United. So, the duo will be automatic picks on the flanks and will look to support Bruno Fernandes creatively. Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag should ditch the midfield diamond to stick a counter-attacking approach on Wednesday.

So, Facundo Pellistri should have the chance to make his mark, joining Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund in a rapid offensive unit. Bruno Fernandes will reprise his usual no. 10 role, with Casemiro and Christian Eriksen pairing up in the double pivot.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Onana; Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Reguilon; Casemiro, Eriksen; Pellistri, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund

Key Stats

  • Bayern Munich have a more favourable head-to-head record against Manchester United, winning four of the 11 meetings (D5 L2). The German giants have never lost at home to the Red Devils (W3 D2).
  • Bayern Munich are unbeaten in 34 Champions League group games, winning their last 13 in a row – both competition records.
  • Manchester United have gone out of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League in two of their last six campaigns in the competition since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. They were eliminated from Europe’s top-tier football competition in just three of their 18 crusades under the Scotsman.
  • Bayern Munich have scored at least once in their last 40 home UEFA Champions League group fixtures since a 2-0 loss to Bordeaux in November 2009), winning 38 of them (D1 L1).
  • Harry Kane has produced four goals and three assists across his last ten competitive appearances against Manchester United.

Player to Watch

Harry Kane

Embed from Getty Images

It has only been a month since departing from England. But Harry Kane faces a Premier League side again. The 30-year-old has been in fine form since joining Bayern Munich, scoring four goals and providing an assist in four Bundesliga games. He now goes up against a club that wanted to sign him this past summer.

Manchester United did not have much chance to prise the England captain away from Tottenham Hotspur. But they still considered securing his services for a few weeks. Seeing the controversies surrounding the Red Devils, Kane might feel he has dodged a bullet. And he will be eager to continue stamping his authority for Bayern Munch this Wednesday.


Bayern Munich 3-0 Manchester United

Manchester United might have run Bayern Munich close in ideal circumstances. The Bundesliga champions have not been at their ruthless best in a few games this season. But their form is still good enough to cruise to a straightforward victory against a struggling Manchester United.

Manchester United showed some positive signs against Brighton & Hove Albion and should put pressure on the hosts. But they will suffer another humbling defeat to potentially leave Erik ten Hag in trouble. The Hard Tackle predicts Bayern Munich to clinch a 3-0 win on Wednesday, with the away side having a few sights at Sven Ulreich’s goal.

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