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Likely XI: Bayern Munich vs Manchester United – Kagawa gets his big chance

by Tom Newbold

David de Gea – Manchester United’s potential player of the year could be in for a busy night on Wednesday.

Chris Smalling – The absence of Rafael from training on Tuesday means he is set to miss another game for United and therefore Chris Smalling is the prime contender to come in at right-back.

Jonny Evans – With more defensive options for this game, David Moyes cannot afford to play both of the ageing Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. There are a lot of ifs and buts about this position but if fit, Moyes may go with Evans and put Jones in midfield. If not fit, then expect either Rio Ferdinand or Jones to play in this position.

Nemanja Vidic – A goal and a captain’s display in the first leg should secure Vidic his place, especially as Chris Smalling and Jones may well be selected in other positions.

Patrice Evra – Despite some good performances from Alex Buttner as of late, when the experienced Evra is available for a game of this magnitude it would seem unlikely that he would get left out.

Antonio Valencia – Valencia can expect to start in right midfield on Wednesday, despite a game at right-back last weekend.

Michael Carrick – United’s main midfield man was rested at the weekend in order to be in the best possible shape for this huge fixture.

Phil Jones – The absence of Fellaini from training means if Jones doesn’t start at centre-back he may earn a start in midfield. The lack of recent minutes for Tom Cleverley and a game for Darren Fletcher at the weekend would seemingly rule them out of a start.

Shinji Kagawa – The dynamism Kagawa brought to the team when he came on at half-time last week was important and several decent performances of late should earn the Japanese starlet a place in the team.

Wayne Rooney – Having trained on Tuesday, United’s talisman is fit enough to start against Bayern.

Danny Welbeck – Left out completely at the weekend with this game in mind, the powerful Danny Welbeck will be key to all of United’s attacking play.


Formation: 4-4-1-1

United will probably line-up in a similar way to how they did against Bayern in the first leg.

Welbeck will be the spearhead of any attacks, drifting across the front line looking for weaknesses in the German side’s defence. Rooney, Kagawa and Valencia will be the supporting acts by either starting attacks themselves or racing to join in with Welbeck. This line-up should ensure plenty of pace in the forward line.

Defensively, United will probably mould into a 4-5-1 formation. Welbeck may drop onto the left side with Kagawa shifting inside to add extra numbers in central midfield.

This is the most likely scenario if Welbeck perceives space and potential down the left side to attack. Alternatively, at different times Rooney may drop back into central midfield to form the 4-5-1 with Kagawa staying left and Welbeck up top.

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