Manchester United Travel to Champions League Debutants Young Boys

WATFORD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Chris Smalling of Manchester United is mobbed by his team mates after scoring their second goal during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Manchester United at Vicarage Road on September 15, 2018 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Young Boys v Manchester United is the first game for both teams in this Group H clash, with the group also featuring Juventus and Valencia.

The Champions League returns, and Europe’s elite come together again for the greatest club spectacle on the planet.

The road for all 32 teams in the group stages to the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid starts now.

Manchester United Face Young Boys in Champions League

Background

This is the first time Young Boys have played in the UEFA Champions League group stages. They won the Swiss Super League in 2017/18 to qualify for the competition. They have been a feature in the qualifying campaign over previous years but never made it further

In the 2010/11 season, Young Boys played Spurs in the play-off qualifying round and even beat Spurs 3-2 on their artificial pitch but lost the return leg 4-0 with, Peter Crouch scoring a hat-trick.

Since the Champions League format was introduced in 1992, they have been in the qualifiers five times and failed until this year when they beat Dinamo Zagreb over two legs.

Manchester United did play Young Boys in the early years of the European Cup after the Munich Air Disaster in 1958.

Players to Watch

Ahead of Young Boys vs Manchester United, here are some of Young Boys’ key men.

Guillaume Hoarau:  The 34-year-old French forward will be the man they look to score the goals in the campaign for them. Having played for Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux, as well as France five times, he will be the experienced figure the team will look to in this campaign.

Sékou Sanogo: The 29-year-old Ivorian midfielder will be crucial to the Swiss team’s chances of doing well in this group as his experience in midfield and his physicality will be vital.

Kevin Mbabu: You might recognise this player from an unremarkable stint at Newcastle. He was there for four years with a few loans out and he has found a home here in Berne. He was close to a move to the Bundesliga in the summer and a good campaign here could seal that for him.

Stadium

Stade de Suisse Wankdorf in Berne is the venue for the match this week and the stadium holds 32,000.

This is a multipurpose venue, holding concerts and the occasional outdoor ice hockey game with attendances for these going up to 45,000.

The stadium was infamous in their qualifier against Tottenham because of the artificial pitch that Young Boys use. This will be a great advantage for them and one that Jose Mourinho will have to plan for.

United’s Previous Champions League Campaign

Ironically, United only lost one game in the group stages last season and that was against Basel in Switzerland, so they will be hoping they come away with three points this time around.

A poor performance against Sevilla over two legs drew much criticism as they went out with a whimper, 2-1 on aggregate. Everyone will be hoping for a better campaign this time around.

Manchester United Key Players

Ahead of Young Boys vs Manchester United, here are some of Manchester United’s key men.

Marcus Rashford: A lot has been made of his recent form and his domestic suspension with his red card at Burnley. This should mean that he plays here as Mourinho shuffles his pack. Rotation will mean he starts, and he will be buoyed by two goals against Spain and Switzerland while on England duty.

Fred: This is the kind of game he was bought for, to dictate the tempo and add energy to the midfield. His range of passing might prove crucial if United are to unlock the Young Boys defence.

Victor Lindelof: He has had a stop-start career so far but this is a game that would suit him perfectly. He can show off his great range of passing and bring the ball out of defence. This will also give him a lot of confidence which he needs to cement a place in the starting eleven.

Main Photo

 

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