Manchester United

Manchester United predicted lineup vs Atletico Madrid - Champions League

Grey Whitebloom
Ralf Rangnick will be taking charge of his first Champions League knockout game in more than a decade
Ralf Rangnick will be taking charge of his first Champions League knockout game in more than a decade / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages
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Manchester United face Atletico Madrid for the first time in more than three decades in a Champions League round of 16 first leg on Wednesday night.

Ralf Rangnick was parachuted into the Old Trafford dugout midway through the current campaign, just as he was the last time he oversaw a Champions League knockout tie.

Having arrived at Schalke in March 2011, Rangnick navigated the German side past reigning champions Inter, setting up a semi-final tie with Manchester United of all clubs.

Here's the XI Rangnick may deploy for his first knockout tie in Europe's premier competition since losing 6-1 on aggregate to his current employers 11 years ago.


Manchester United predicted lineup vs Atletico Madrid - Champions League

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

David de Gea (GK) - Despite joining Manchester United in 2011, De Gea has still spent more than half his life in the Atletico Madrid system which he joined at the age of four.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) - A surprising selection for Sunday's game, Wan-Bissaka earned his first red card for the club in the opening match of the current Champions League campaign.

Raphael Varane (CB) - A veteran of 25 Madrid derbies, Varane was part of the Real Madrid side that knocked Atletico out of the Champions League in four consecutive seasons.

Harry Maguire (CB) - The club's skipper goes into the contest buoyed by his first Premier League goal in 13 months.

Luke Shaw (LB) - Across the past four seasons, Shaw has amassed more yellow cards than any other Manchester United player (45), yet never been sent off.

2. Midfielders

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes has directly contributed to a Champions League goal in nine of his last 11 appearances in the competition / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Paul Pogba (CM) - The World Cup winner is Manchester United's most creative player in the English top flight, but hasn't created a goal in Europe's premier competition since October 2020.

Scott McTominay (CM) - Before the club captaincy became such a hot topic, Rangnick admitted he 'wouldn't be surprised' to see McTominay wear the armband at some point.

Bruno Fernandes (CM) - The Champions League's most prolific assist provider has created at least one goal in every appearance he's made in this season's competition.

3. Forwards

Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho has scored six goals and created as many in 26 Champions League appearances for Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Marcus Rashford (RW) - Left on the bench on Sunday, Rashford has only scored one goal in the Champions League knockout stages; though his penalty did send PSG out of the competition in 2019.

Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) - In a club career which exceeds more than 900 appearances, Ronaldo has never faced (or beaten) any side more often than Atletico Madrid (17 wins and 25 goals in 35 games).

Jadon Sancho (LW) - After creating 34 shots which went unconverted across his first 27 games for Manchester United, Sancho - a player with 15-plus assists in his last three seasons - finally registered his first (and second) in red on Sunday.


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