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Lana Sargsian

12-12-2023 | 15:45 Football
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Why Manchester United won't qualify for Champions League last 16?

With Manchester United currently at the bottom of their UEFA Champions League group behind Bayern Munich, Copenhagen, and Galatasaray, the club faces an unfamiliar challenge.

In a departure from their usual dominance, Erik ten Hag's side must secure a must-win situation against table-toppers Bayern Munich to progress to the latter stages. Bayern Munich has already secured their place in the next round with 13 points.

For United to advance, they need a victory against Thomas Tuchel's team at Old Trafford on December 12. Simultaneously, Copenhagen and Galatasaray, currently second and third in the group with five points each, must play to a draw in their head-to-head clash on the final matchday.

This scenario puts the Premier League giants in a position where they rely on a helping hand from their group rivals and a win on their end.

 

Why Manchester United won't qualify for Champions League last 16?

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Defensive Struggles Add to Manchester United's Champions League Challenge

A significant shift has occurred in Manchester United this season, notably in the decline of their defensive quality despite the addition of Andre Onana.

The Red Devils, traditionally strong in holding leads, have conceded eight goals in five games, deviating from their usual stellar defensive performance.

As the Premier League side prepare to host the formidable Bavarian giants at Old Trafford in the group's last game, where they must secure a victory, optimism is scarce.

The Bundesliga outfit have demonstrated attacking prowess in their recent three meetings, scoring five goals and further intensifying the challenges for the Red Devils in the Champions League.

Moreover, the Nigerian goalkeeper's performance in the Champions League mirrors Manchester United's season—a mix of exceptional saves and excruciating errors.

While the former Inter Milan man has showcased remarkable goalkeeping skills, his involvement in conceding goals highlights the ongoing defensive struggles for United in their current UCL campaign.

 

Manchester United's Struggling Attack Raises Concerns Amid Dismal Form

United are under increased scrutiny for its attacking force following a challenging season, with the recent 3-3 draw against Galatasaray adding to concerns about the team's ability to score goals effectively.

Marcus Rashford's performance has suffered this season, managing only two goals and four assists in 17 games. Bruno Fernandes has been a key contributor with three assists and three goals in 13 league appearances. However, doubts arise as key players responsible for igniting the team's attack have not fulfilled their duties.

Antony and Mason Mount have failed to contribute a goal between them, even as center-backs Harry Maguire, Evans, and Martinez have registered assists.

In five of their 12 league matches, the Premier League side's expected goals were below one, indicating a lack of offensive fluidity at Old Trafford.

In the face of these challenges, fundamental skills such as physicality and fitness become crucial for the team's resurgence. Despite Rashford being United's top forward, his noticeable dip in form raises uncertainties about his role in the team.

Garnacho's outstanding performance further complicates Rashford's position. Given the Argentine's current form, a potential bench role for the English forward appears likely, and he must deliver exceptional performances to secure a starting spot again.

 

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Injury Woes Persist for Erik ten Hag's Manchester United

Injuries continue to pose significant challenges for Erik ten Hag's side this season.

The return of Luke Shaw boosts the defensive options for United, providing reinforcement for the upcoming encounters. However, the absence of influential players such as Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Jonny Evans and Tyrell Malacia presents a notable setback for the team. A significant boost is the return of Rasmus Højlund's and Lisandro Martínez, who started training with the group.

Despite an impressive record of five goals in four Champions League appearances, the Danish ace faced challenges in translating this success to domestic competitions.

The return of Shaw is poised to bring balance and tactical versatility to Erik ten Hag's side which has faced challenges due to injuries. With Victor Lindelöf filling in at left-back in the absence of the Englishman, the team experienced a shift in dynamics.

 

 

Bayern Munich's UCL Group Stage Reign Poses Threat to Manchester United's Qualification

Bayern Munich's impressive Champions League group stage winning streak was brought to a halt at 18 games after a goalless draw against Copenhagen. However, the German giants still maintain an unbeaten record in the group stage, reaching an impressive 39 consecutive games without a loss.

This remarkable achievement is likely to set a long-standing record in the competition. The upcoming match against Manchester United will determine whether Bayern can extend their streak to 40 games.

Meanwhile, observers from England anticipate Tuchel's strategic squad changes, presenting the Red Devils' with an opportunity to secure the highly contested second place in Group A. Nevertheless, the consideration of this option is widely regarded as controversial.

 

 

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