Wednesday Briefing: It's time for United v Leipzig
Manchester United are preparing to face RB Leipzig for the first time in history and, while the name isn’t known in every household, the Germans visit Old Trafford with our complete respect.
Julian Nagelsmann's team currently sit first in Group H after a 2-0 win at Basaksehir and they also lead the Bundesliga, with more points than champions Bayern Munich and traditional challengers Borussia Dortmund.
Leipzig are clearly a team in form and will undoubtedly provide a test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Reds, who got off to an excellent start in Europe with that 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes last week.
“Of course, the reigning European champions are Bayern Munich, who aren’t so much a football team as a football machine,” says Berba. “The structure of the team, the speed they have in the team is ridiculous. They are the full package and will be among the contenders this year, no doubt.
“The Bundesliga cannot be underestimated and for sure United must be careful going into tonight’s game against RB Leipzig. Many people were surprised by our win on matchday one in Paris. PSG’s team had world-class players like Mbappe and Neymar, but every United player was spot-on in that game. Everybody gave everything, did their job, put it all on the line and left everything in the game.
“It’s important to replicate those levels tonight. Leipzig reached the semi-finals last season and are a really good team. Their coach will, sooner or later, probably manage one of the big, big teams in the world and even though they have lost Timo Werner, they still have a lot of quality and balance throughout their side.
“On Champions League nights, I always think back to Sir Alex and the one word he would tell us when we were going out of the dressing room: concentration. Everybody would get a high-five and a reminder of that word.
“Concentration is key on big nights like this when there is no margin for error, so everybody in a United shirt will need to be focused for the entire night in order to get a big, important result.”
All eyes are of course on Old Trafford and the big game against Leipzig, which is due to kick off at 20:00 GMT and will be shown live in the UK on BT Sport. The line-ups will be announced to the world around 19:00 GMT, which is just five minutes after MUTV’s live build-up begins from the stadium.
If you have been playing our new United Predictions game in the Official App then make sure your starting XI is registered by 18:30 GMT. You’ll then have until kick-off for the three other categories.
Revisit our channels after the final whistle for the must-see reaction and analysis, including the manager’s post-match press conference. Highlights will also be available to watch from midnight.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
In his press conference, Solskjaer revealed his squad is in good condition and only two players are set to miss the match.
Ole then spoke positively about Donny van de Beek and how the Dutchman will have a big role to play this season, after missing the weekend’s draw with Chelsea.
Scott McTominay sat alongside the manager for the media briefing and he was typically impressive, talking to the European media about the intense competition for places that is driving him on.
Meanwhile, United pledged its commitment to the FA’s Football Leadership Diversity Code, a set of voluntary principles and targets to diversify leadership and coaching teams across English football.