February 23, 2024
game

United are set to play their most important game of the season this evening in one of the most hostile grounds in Europe. With only 3 points on board after 4 matches, it’s been a disastrous campaign in Europe for Erik ten Hag’s men. Anything but a win and their qualification chances will go further down.

Ten Hag will take heart from their recent Premier League form but will be aware of United’s tendency to capitulate under pressure, a recurring theme this season. He has spoken about being mentally strong ahead of the game and the players will need to display tremendous composure to win in front of a raucous Galatasaray crowd that will be doing all it can to ramp up the pressure on the opponents.

Injuries and suspension

In terms of availability, Marcus Rashford will miss the game through suspension but the impending return of Rasmus Højlund who has 5 goals to his name in the Champions League will be a big boost ahead of the crucial game. It remains to be seen if Raphael Varane gets a nod ahead of Victor Lindelof in this crucial match, and the other real question mark is who starts on the right wing.

In the pre-match press conference, ten Hag urged Facundo Pellistri to take the next step in his development and prepare to start more matches. While Antony has had a below-par start to the season, Pellistri could see this as an opportunity to step up. Kobbie Mainoo who had a fantastic debut last time out against Everton will be itching to start again, and he could play a very vital role this evening.

Ten Hag could also have a decision to make for the right back spot with Wan-Bissaka also fit and ready to start now. Diogo Dalot has had a mixed start to the season and it remains to be seen if ten Hag prefers to stick or twist in the backline.

The likes of Eriksen, Martinez, and Casemiro will miss out through long-term injuries.

Here is our predicted starting XI for the game this evening: Onana, Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, McTominay, Mainoo, Pellistri, Bruno, Garnacho, Hojlund.

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