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Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between RB Leipzig and Manchester United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Manchester United will be looking to book their spot in the last-16 stage of the Champions League when they face RB Leipzig in Germany on Tuesday night.

The English giants are level on nine points with both Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain in a fascinating Group H and need to avoid defeat at the Red Bull Arena in order to progress to the knockout round.

Match preview

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann pictured on November 7, 2020© Reuters

Leipzig impressively reached the semi-finals of last season's Champions League before losing to French giants PSG, but they are extremely inexperienced at this level of football - currently competing in just their third group-stage campaign.

Julian Nagelsmann's side opened their Group H challenge with a 2-0 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir but suffered a shock 5-0 defeat away to United towards the end of October.

Leipzig managed to recover with a 2-1 home win over PSG but then lost the reverse game in Paris to leave themselves in a difficult position in the section ahead of their away game with Basaksehir last week.

The Turkish giants levelled the scores at 3-3 in the latter stages of the clash in Istanbul, but a 92nd-minute winner from Alexander Sorloth moved Nagelsmann's team onto nine points.

The Red Bulls, who played out an entertaining 3-3 draw with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Saturday, would qualify for the knockout round if they beat United on Tuesday, although a draw would also be enough if PSG lost to Basaksehir in the section's other match.

Paris Saint-Germain's Marquinhos celebrates scoring against Manchester United in the Champions League on December 2, 2020© Reuters

United were in an excellent position in the group after matchday two, with back-to-back wins over PSG and Leipzig seeing them firmly take charge of the section. A damaging 2-1 loss in Istanbul followed, though, and now Solskjaer's team are sweating on a spot in the round of 16.

The Red Devils did manage to return to winning ways at home to Basaksehir on November 24, but a 3-1 home defeat to PSG last week means that they have work to do in order to advance to the knockout round.

As mentioned, the 20-time English champions will go through if they avoid defeat in Germany, while they will finish first if they secure a point and PSG do not manage to overcome Basaksehir.

Solskjaer's team have won four of their last five matches in all competitions, including a morale-boosting 3-1 victory over West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday, when they again had to come from behind.

United have a huge game at home to Manchester City in the Premier League next weekend but simply cannot afford to look past Tuesday's clash as they attempt to book their spot in the knockout round of Europe's premier competition for the 19th time.

RB Leipzig Champions League form: LWLWLW
RB Leipzig form (all competitions): WDLWWD

Manchester United Champions League form: LWWLWL
Manchester United form (all competitions): WWWWLW

Team News

Manchester United's Edinson Cavani celebrates scoring against Southampton in the Premier League on November 29, 2020© Reuters

Leipzig will again be without the services of Lukas Klostermann, Fabrice Hartmann, Konrad Laimer, Benjamin Henrichs and Hwang Hee-chan on Tuesday night, but the team did not pick up any fresh concerns against Bayern.

There are not expected to be many surprises in the home side's starting XI on Tuesday night, with Dani Olmo, Emil Forsberg and Yussuf Poulsen all expected to be in the team.

Justin Kluivert and Sorloth are also options in attacking positions, but Kevin Kampl could come into the side alongside Marcel Sabitzer in midfield in order to provide more security to the defence.

Ibrahima Konate, who continues to be linked with a move away from the Bundesliga club, should line up in the middle of the defence once again, but there will be no Dayot Upamecano, with the Frenchman missing out through suspension.

As for United, it would not be a surprise to see Solskjaer revert to a back three for this match, with Axel Tuanzebe coming into the defence alongside Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire.

Fred is suspended following his red card against PSG last week, meaning that Paul Pogba could keep his spot alongside Scott McTominay in midfield, with Alex Telles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the wing-back areas as Luke Shaw is still not fully fit following a hamstring issue.

David de Gea missed out with a slight knee issue against West Ham but should be back in the side for this match. Both Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani are huge doubts, though, with the pair both picking up muscular injuries in the 3-1 victory over the Hammers.

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were excellent off the bench on Saturday and should return, while Mason Greenwood could be handed another start if both Martial and Cavani miss out.

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulacsi; Mukiele, Konate, Orban, Angelino; Sabitzer, Kampl; Haidara, Forsberg, Olmo; Poulsen

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Lindelof, Maguire, Tuanzebe; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Pogba, Telles; Fernandes; Greenwood, Rashford

SM words green background

We say: RB Leipzig 2-2 Manchester United

United only need a point to progress to the knockout stage, and we fancy the English giants to have enough to advance. Leipzig have conceded six goals in their last two matches, and Solskjaer's side are certainly capable of harming the Bundesliga outfit, as they demonstrated at Old Trafford in the reverse game.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


Who will win Tuesday's Champions League clash between RB Leipzig and Man Utd?

RB Leipzig
Manchester United
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Bruno Fernandes celebrates scoring for Manchester United against Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League on November 24, 2020
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