Sports, Football

United look to solidify last-16 UCL berth

Published : 01 Nov 2021 10:37 PM | Updated : 03 Nov 2021 02:25 PM

Manchester United will be aiming to make it three straight victories in the Champions League when they head to the Gewiss Stadium on Tuesday evening to take on Italian outfit Atalanta BC.

The Red Devils are currently top of Group F, collecting six points from their first three matches, while Atalanta are third in the section, just two points behind their opponents in Bergamo.

Man United will enter the contest off the back of a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday night; the pressure was firmly on head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer entering the contest, but the Red Devils managed to secure all three points in impressive fashion.

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A switch to a 3-5-2 formation worked well at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Rashford on the scoresheet, and the win moved the 20-time English champions into fifth spot in the table, just three points behind third-placed Manchester City ahead of Saturday's Manchester derby.

United could have a fully-fit squad for this match, and Paul Pogba is also available for selection, as his suspension only relates to domestic fixtures.

There is every chance that Solskjaer will stick with the same 3-5-2 formation that proved successful at Spurs, but it does seem likely that there will be at least one change ahead of the Manchester derby, with Cavani potentially being protected ahead of starting on Saturday. Rashford came off the bench to score against Spurs and could join Ronaldo in attack, while Pogba and Nemanja Matic are options in the middle of the park.

The importance of this match means that Solskjaer cannot take any real chances, though, and the XI is expected to be either unchanged or very similar to the one that featured at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Meanwhile, Atalanta will again be without the services of Berat Djimsiti, Robin Gosens, Rafael Toloi, Matteo Pessina and Hans Hateboer for Tuesday night's European contest.

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