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Champions League Group A: State of play and what needs to happen for Man Utd to qualify for last-16

We look at the state of play in Group A of the Champions League and explain what needs to happen for Man Utd to qualify for the last-16.

When Manchester United were drawn alongside Bayern Munich, Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen in Group A, it didn’t look like the story of this group would pan out like it has.

It was obvious Bayern Munich would be a tough assignment for Erik ten Hag’s side and they would be the winner of this group. But it was thought that United would finish second and qualify for the knockouts stage.

But, things haven’t gone according to the plan for Man Utd as they are currently at the bottom of Group A, coming into the final group game. They have managed to accumulate four points from five games.

Ten Hag’s side have been beaten by all three of the teams from this group and have only won against Copenhagen at home thanks to Andre Onana’s stoppage-time penalty save. So, Man Utd are currently at risk of missing out on qualifying for the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Bayern Munich have already secured their place at the top of the group having earned 13 points from five games. Copenhagen and Galatasaray are in second and third respectively with five points from as many games.

Now, in the final game of the group, United will take on Bayern Munich at Old Trafford, while Copenhagen will welcome Galatasaray at Parken Stadium.

What needs to happen for Man Utd to qualify for knockouts?

Certainly, they can’t think of anything but win to keep their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage alive. However, a victory might not be enough as they will have to hope the result of the game between Copenhagen and Galatasaray goes in their favour.

Both Denish and Turkish sides will secure their place in the knockout stage if either club manage to win their game – which will commence at the same time as United’s on Tuesday night.

So, Man Utd will have to hope that the game between Copenhagen and Galatasaray ends in a stalemate. Only in that case, United can qualify for the knockout of Europe’s elite club competition this year if they beat Bayern Munich.

However, defeating the Bavarian club won’t be easy for United as the German giants are unbeaten in the group game of this competition over the last few years.

So, it is going to be interesting to see how the story of this group eventually unfolds on Tuesday night.

Man Utd vs Bayern Munich

United have endured a tough campaign so far this season and in addition to that, they will be coming into this game off the back of a 3-0 defeat against Bournemouth in the Premier League. So, United are currently low in confidence ahead of tomorrow’s game.

On the other hand, Bayern Munich endured a 5-1 rinsing away to Eintracht Frankfurt in their previous game. So, the Bavarian club will be desperate to return to winning ways in this fixture.

With so much on the line, Old Trafford is expected to be packed to the rafters but supporters can still buy sold-out Champions League tickets at trusted reseller sites if they want to attend the game in person.

Team news

Man Utd endured a 4-3 defeat versus the Bavarian club in the reverse fixture. Casemiro scored twice for United in that game but he isn’t available for selection tomorrow as he is currently out injured.

Along with the Brazilian, Lisandro Martínez, Christian Eriksen, Mason Mount and Tyrell Malacia have all been out injured at the moment with their respective problems. So, they aren’t in contention to feature in this fixture.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial couldn’t train ahead of the game due to illness so they are in doubt ahead of this game.

Victor Lindelof was absent in United’s previous game having sustained an injury versus Chelsea last week. However, he has returned to training so he could be available for selection in this encounter.

As for Bayern Munich, they will be without Serge Gnabry as he is set to miss out on this game after picking up an injury last time out. Along with the forward, Sven Ulreich and Matthijs De Ligt are also ruled out for this game due to their respective injuries.

Prediction line-up

Ten Hag is set to continue with his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation with Andre Onana likely to be in goal for the three-time Champions League winner.

Harry Maguire could start at the heart of United’s defence alongside Johnny Evans, while Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw could start in the fullback position.

Sofyan Amrabat is expected to continue in the holding midfield position with Scott McTominay likely to be alongside the Moroccan. Bruno Fernandes should start in the attacking midfield role. Alejandro Garnacho and Antony are set to start in the flanks, while Rasmus Hojlund could be in the centre-forward position.

Expected Man Utd line-up vs Bayern Munich

Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Evans, Shaw; Amrabat, McTominay, Fernandes; Garnacho, Hojlund, Antony

For Bayern Munich, Thomas Tuchel could also go with the 4-2-3-1 formation for this fixture. Manuel Neuer is set to start in goal for the record German champions, and in front of him, Konrad Laimer, Dayot Upamecano, Kim Min-jae and Raphael Guerreiro should be the back four for the Bavarian club.

Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka could be in the midfield pivot, while Jamal Musiala may start in the number ten role. Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman should be in the flanks for Bayern with Harry Kane in the centre-forward position.

Expected Bayern Munich line-up vs Man Utd

Neuer; Laimer, Upamecano, Min-jae, Guerreiro; Kimmich, Goretzka, Musiala; Sane, Coman, Kane


Bayern have been unbeaten in the group stage of the Champions League over the last few years so it will be extremely difficult for United to come away with all three points from this fixture. So, it is expected that United may end up drawing the game. Man Utd 1-1 Bayern Munich

Copenhagen vs Galatasaray

The reverse game between these two sides – which was played at RAMS Park Stadium – finished in a 2-2 draw. However, neither team would be happy with this scoreline, if United win their game.

But, if the Red Devils fail to win their game and the match between Copenhagen and Galatasaray ends in a draw then Copenhagen will qualify for the knockout stage due to their superior goal difference.

The game will be played at Parken Stadium so Copenhagen will be in an advantageous situation and they will be backing themselves to beat the Turkish giants and qualify for the knockout stage.


Galatasaray have experienced players – who previously played at the highest level and in a pressure situation like this one. So, their fans will be hoping that will give them an edge in this fixture.

However, Copenhagen will look to win this game by taking the home advantage and they may eventually get all three points. Copenhagen 2-1 Galatasaray

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