Fernandes returns | Expected Man Utd line-up vs Atletico
Man Utd welcome Atletico Madrid to Old Trafford for the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Tuesday. Here is the predicted line-up
Manchester United welcome Atletico Madrid to Old Trafford for the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Tuesday.
The Red Devils secured a 1-1 draw in the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano three weeks ago. Anthony Elanga scored a late equaliser coming off the bench.
With the away-goal rule scrapped, Man Utd don’t have any added advantage, but they should fancy their chances of beating the La Liga champions at home.
Ahead of tomorrow’s European meeting, interim boss Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay are available for selection. Luke Shaw has also been involved in training, but will undergo a late fitness test before the game.
Here is how Man Utd could line up against Atletico:
Goalkeeper: David de Gea has been ever-present for Manchester United in the Champions League, barring one dead-rubber group game against Young Boys. The Spaniard was hugely pivotal to the club’s progress to the knock-out phase with stand-out saves, and should be a guaranteed starter against Atletico.
Defence: Diogo Dalot has been the regular right-back since the beginning of the year. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is definitely the more defensive-minded full-back, but his form has been poor lately. Dalot should get the nod.
Harry Maguire has barely been dropped despite his inconsistent showings, but could get the axe tomorrow, having conceded an own goal against Tottenham Hotspur alongside several shaky moments.
We fancy Victor Lindelof to partner Raphael Varane at the heart of the Man Utd defence. Alex Telles looks set to continue at left-back with Shaw unlikely to make the line-up amid fitness concerns.
Midfield: Nemanja Matic had another solid display against Spurs, delivering a key pass for United’s second goal. However, he could still drop to the bench for the return of McTominay. The £31.5m-rated star is available after a calf problem, and should partner Fred. Rangnick recently described the duo as the best ‘ball-winners‘ in the squad.
Attack: Fernandes should be a confirmed starter in the number 10 role, having returned to full training after a bout of coronavirus. The same can be said about Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho. Sancho has excelled from the left-wing with six goal contributions since February, but may feature on the opposite flank to accommodate Pogba.
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to lead the line up front for Man Utd. The Portugal star was back to his vintage best against Spurs with a sublime hat-trick. This should give him plenty of confidence ahead of the Atletico meeting. He enjoys playing against them with a stunning 25 goals and nine assists from 36 games.
Expected Man Utd line-up vs Atletico Madrid