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UEFA Champions League 2018/19: Manchester United v Juventus, match preview

Manchester United have been unpredictable
Manchester United have been unpredictable
ANALYST
Modified 22 Oct 2018
Preview

Manchester United take on Italian giants Juventus at Old Trafford on Tuesday night in a UEFA Champions League Group H match. The match will also mark the return of the prodigal son, Cristiano Ronaldo, to his former home territory.

Home advantage will be on United's side but form will be with Juventus with the latter having won four games in the last five they have played.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be hoping to go one up on Massimiliano Allegri when his side takes on the latter on Tuesday. United will be looking to play some attacking and beautiful football as they did against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.

Unpredictable Manchester United can spring a surprise

Going by form, Juventus are the favourites to win this tie
Going by form, Juventus are the favourites to win this tie

It doesn't take an expert to say that Juventus will be the favourites to win this tie. Although they will be playing away from home, quality and form are truly on their side. United, however, have had an unpredictable show this season and they can spring a surprise whenever the going goes tough.

United have been tough and challenged their opponents throughout the season but haven't been able to get the results that they have wanted. Mourinho, however, has the backing of his players, and they will go out on Tuesday to win this tie between two of the biggest clubs in the world.

Luke Shaw has been brilliant at his fullback position while Chris Smalling has defended as a leader. Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial have turned the tables and are now essential parts of this United side. Playmaker Juan Mata's presence in the centre of midfield is crucial and his scorching passes which bisect opponents are extraordinary.

What United are ruing now is a loss of form on Romelu Lukaku's part and a non-existent right wing. They will be hoping that both turn out to be alright before facing the club from Turin.

Ronaldo can rattle Old Trafford

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Ronaldo returns to Manchester
Ronaldo returns to Manchester

Cristiano Ronaldo will return to his old club where he took the first steps towards greatness. He will be hoping to put a few past David de Gea and reclaim the Old Trafford faithful. However, it will be unfair to say that Juventus are a one-man team.

Mario Mandzukic has been exemplary whenever he has been challenged and Paulo Dybala, whenever he has played, has shown how much of quality he possesses. Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi and Juan Cuadrado have shown signs of brilliance too, with the former being especially good on the ball.

Douglas Costa and Emre Can haven't played a lot but whenever they have, the Old Lady has looked nigh unbeatable. Leonardo Bonucci and Georgio Chiellini, the centre back twins have combined together to keep goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny out of harm's way. Alex Sandro and Joao Cancelo, the fullbacks have Allegri's backing too.

It will be an interesting encounter at Old Trafford and though Juventus are heavy favourites, United can be unstoppable on their day.


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Probable Line-ups

Manchester United

Goalkeeper: De Gea

Defenders: Shaw, Smalling, Lindelof, Valencia

Midfielders: Matic, Pogba, Mata

Attackers: Martial, Lukaku, Sanchez.

Juventus

Goalkeeper: Szczesny

Defenders: Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro

Midfielders: Pjanic, Matuidi, Khedira

Attackers: Ronaldo, Mandzukic, Cuadrado

Published 22 Oct 2018, 14:13 IST
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