Manchester United begins the group stage of the 2021/22 Champions League with a trip to Switzerland to play against the Young Boys on Tuesday evening.
For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose last continental game was last season’s Europa League final against Villarreal, it may be a cheap start to Europe’s elite club competition.
Young Boys, who reached the semi-finals of the 1958/59 European Cup, are reigning Swiss champions, but the weakest team in this group.
Here’s everything you need to know before competing …
What time is the kick-off? Tuesday, September 14, 5:45 p.m. (BST)
Where is the game played? Wankdorf Stadium
TV station / livestream? BT Sport (Great Britain), fuboTV (USA), DAZN (Canada)
Referred? Francois Letexier (FRA)
VAR? Willy Delajod (FRA)
The Young Boys are led by the former Huddersfield boss and long-time Jürgen Klopp confidante David Wagner, who has to do without five players due to injury. Including club captain Fabian Lustenberger, who has not played since April because of a torn Achilles tendon.
Cristiano Ronaldo will make his second European debut for United, who traveled to Switzerland without Edinson Cavani. Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Alex Telles are also staying outside as they recover from shoulder, groin and ankle injuries.
Solskjaer has added 19-year-old Anthony Elanga, who scored in the Premier League at the end of last season but hasn’t been with the team since this season.
Young boys: From Ballmoos; Hefti, Zesiger, Camara, Garcia; Fassnacht, Martins, Aebischer, Ngamaleu; Elijah, Siebatcheu
Man utd: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Lingard; Ronaldo
The only previous meetings between these clubs have been in the 2018/19 Champions League group stage, with a United side led by Jose Mourinho victorious in both cases.
Paul Pogba scored twice in the 3-0 win in Switzerland almost exactly three years ago, while Marouane Fellaini scored the only goal late in the return leg at Old Trafford.
Young Boys have done well to make it to the Champions League group stage for the second time after having tackled three difficult qualifying rounds to get that far. But there is no point in pretending that this game is anything other than a significant mismatch.
United may have battled Southampton and Wolves for the past few weeks, but the boost the side received from the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo was seen on Saturday when they brought Newcastle to sword at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo won’t settle for second best as he seeks to bring the club back to the top of English and European football. Don’t expect him to be on the score sheet again.
Prediction: Young Boys 0-3 Manchester United
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