By Kiran Thakare
- Morgan Schneiderlin joins Rooney, Rojo, Jones and Herrera on the sidelines
- A win for United would see them replace Wolfsburg at the top of the group
- Anything but a win could see United eliminated to the Europa League
Manchester United travel to Germany on Monday to gear up for their do or die fixture against Wolfsburg. The Red Devils currently sit second in the group with eight points, one point behind the group leaders Wolfsburg.
United need a win to ensure that they reach the round of sixteen irrespective of what the result is in the other group fixture between PSV Eindhoven and CSKA Moscow. United can also guarantee their place in next round if they manage a draw against Wolfsburg and PSV Eindhoven fail to win against CSKA Moscow.
Manchester United came back from one goal deficit against Wolfsburg to win 2-1 in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford. The Red Devils would be looking to deliver a dominant performance which the fans have been craving for in the recent weeks.
Manchester United are suffering from a mini injury crisis as they will be without their captain Wayne Rooney against the Germans. The likes of Phil Jones, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo remain sidelined due to their recent injury woes.
The other players out are the long term absentees Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw. Morgan Schneiderlin also didn’t travelled with the squad due to a minor knock he suffered during the match against West Ham.
Louis Van Gaal has also included Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Nick Powell, Sean Goss and Guillermo Varela in the squad travelling to Germany.
Van Gaal has been reluctant to change the team formation this term and is likely to continue with 4-2-3-1. The defence is likely to be the same which faced West Ham due to various injuries to other defenders.
Michael Carrick will replace the injured Schneiderlin to form double pivot with Schweinsteiger. The front four picks itself due to lack of options as Rooney and Herrera remain on sidelines and may feature the same way as it did against West Ham.
Manchester United have been labelled boring as the Old Trafford side has been dominating possession but are not able to make it count in the final third. The Red Devils have scored very few goals this term but are grinding out results and sit fourth in Premier League three points off top and are a win away from the round of 16.
The Red Devils have become a frustrating side to face as they boast a very good defence and don’t give away too many chances to their opponents. They have endured five goalless draws in their last nine games which has created unrest among the fans.
Louis Van Gaal on the other hand is calm and assured that goals will come for his team as they create numerous chances but are not able to convert them.
Wolfsburg are enduring a mixed season as they sit fifth in the Bundesliga table. The German side have a very good home record as they have endured only three losses in last 31 games at home most recently a 2-1 loss against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Wolfsburg are a good side defensively led by Naldo in the heart of the defence. The Germans boast a good amount of pace in their attack which make them threat on counter.
The likes of Julian Draxler, Andre Schürrle and Max Kruse provide creativity for Wolfsburg in the final third. United will have to be careful and remain in their best defensive shape when they lose ball.