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Team news, possible XI: ten Hag roars ahead of Bayern clash: United can “beat any opponent”

Manager Erik ten Hag says Manchester United can “beat any opponent” as they aim to clinch a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Tuesday’s visit of Bayern Munich is United’s final group game after winning just one of their previous five.

United must win to progress – and hope Copenhagen draw at home to Galatasaray.

“We are not consistent but we have good performances,” said Ten Hag. “If we are in the right spirit, we are able to beat any opponent.”

A draw against group leaders Bayern would see United finish third and enter the Europa League group stage, if there is not a winner between Copenhagen and Galatasaray.

Defender Victor Lindelof remains an injury doubt for the Red Devils, who suffered a 3-0 defeat by Bournemouth at home in the Premier League on Saturday.

But Bayern also suffered a surprise defeat at the weekend as the German champions were thrashed 5-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga.

United have ‘a certain aura, a certain mentality’

United lost 4-3 in Munich in September, then 4-3 at Copenhagen and drew 3-3 at Galatasaray last month.

Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel noted how Ten Hag’s side has scored more goals than any other team in Group A but their defensive record means “they don’t have enough points for the goals they’ve scored. It’s been a bit up and down for them.”

But the former Chelsea coach added “it’s always dangerous to play Manchester United. They have a certain aura, a certain mentality that always makes them very difficult to beat.

“They can endure difficult phases in their matches. I feel it’s part of the DNA of the club, that they can overcome difficult minutes in a match and still win, still steal points.

“We’ve seen their strong moments, how strong they are, and the stadium plays a big role. The spectators are emotional and the stadium creates some special moments, so it’s a difficult place to come and play but it’s a very good challenge for us.”

United famously scored twice at the death to beat Bayern 2-1 in the 1999 Champions League final and become European champions for the second time.

“A game against Manchester United is always a big game,” added Tuchel. “It’s a big stage, a big club – one of the biggest stages in world football. It has a certain aura and electricity around it.

“We have to prepare for the best Man United team because when they are good, they are really, really good.”

Bayern ‘cannot be more happy’ to have Kane

Tuchel confirmed that England captain Harry Kane will play at Old Trafford, making his first club appearance in England since leaving Tottenham for Germany last summer.

The former Manchester United target, 30, has scored 18 goals in 13 league matches since joining Bayern on a four-year deal, for an initial 100m euros (£86.4m) plus add-ons.

“I think every fan would wish for Harry Kane in their team,” said Tuchel. “That’s why we’re very proud that we managed to seduce him and we managed to steal him from the Premier League and from English football.

“He’s the skipper of your national team and a big personality, a big player. [He’s] a very humble and down to earth person who loves football and what he’s doing.

“He’s a role model and we’re super happy, we cannot be more happy that he’s with us. He gives us a lot of confidence and, of course, a lot of goals. He will play tomorrow. I know he will be happy to be here.”

Team News

Victor Lindelof has returned to training ahead of Manchester United‘s decisive Champions League match at home to Bayern Munich, but Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are both battling illness ahead of tonight’s game.

Erik ten Hag’s side sit bottom heading into the final group-stage game and need a favour to reach the knockout stage. United must beat Bayern at Old Trafford to have any hope of reaching the last-16, but even that will not be enough unless Copenhagen and Galatasaray draw in the other Group A match.

United did not have Lindelof available for Saturday’s painful 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth, and Ten Hag confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Monday that a late decision would be made over the centre-back’s availability.

“It’s a condensed programme,” Ten Hag said. “We have training so, in this moment, I am not sure about everyone who is available for tomorrow but the question is over whether Victor Lindelof, whether he can make it or not. We will have to see tomorrow.”

Rashford, available again after susepension, and Martial both missed training on Monday due to illness, leaving them as doubts for Bayern’s visit. The pair both faced a fight to earn their places in the starting lineup as it was, and Rasmus Hojlund appears set to lead the line.

Luke Shaw started at centre-back against Bournemouth, but Raphael Varane could return to the side against Bayern having recovered from a sore back.

Bruno Fernandes is available to play despite his domestic suspension, with a yellow card picked up on Saturday his fifth of the Premier League season and he will miss this weekend’s trip to Anfield to face Liverpool as a result.

Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro all remain out, but Mason Mount is nearing a return from a calf injury.

Predicted Man United XI: Onana; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Amrabat, McTominay; Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho; Hojlund

Injuries: Martinez, Casemiro, Eriksen, Malacia, Amad

Doubts: Lindelof, Mount, Rashford, Martial

Unavailable: Sancho

Time and date: 8pm GMT, Tuesday December 12, 2023

Venue: Old Trafford

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