Monday 7 December 2015

Match preview: Wolfsburg v United

Louis van Gaal has described Tuesday's make-or-break Champions League clash in Wolfsburg as the biggest of his United reign so far with the Reds needing a victory to guarantee qualification into the knockout stages.

 United currently sit second in Group B after five rounds of matches but with our fate in our own hands, we know that a win in Germany would secure a spot in the last 16
A draw may also be good enough although that would require third-placed PSV Eindhoven to fail to win at home to already-eliminated Moscow.

Wayne Rooney and Morgan Schneiderlin will miss out through injury, while United will also be without Phil Jones (ankle), Marcos Rojo (shoulder) and Ander Herrera (hamstring) as well as long term absentees Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw. 

A number of youngsters have travelled with the Reds to Germany in a 19-man squad, including Sean Goss, Nick Powell, Guillermo Varela and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.
For the hosts, Dante will be available after suspension but Luiz Gustavo, Ricardo Rodriguez and Robin Knoche are all doubtful for the Group B leaders, themselves not yet certain of a place in the next round. 

"In this moment I believe this is the most important match but only in this moment, it's very important for the club to continue in the Champions League and the players and fans also.
"We want to show our qualities at the highest level and this is why it is also very important.
"I have won this competition before but now we are in the qualification group and that is different as you have to prove as a club, as a team, and as a player that you can continue and that's why it is very important to beat the opponent tomorrow" said the Dutchman. 

Dieter Hecking's Wolfsburg sit fifth in the Bundesliga and boast a formidable record on their own patch having not been beaten at the Volkswagen Arena since March 2014 (a record equalling 29 home games without defeat) until Dortmund ended that run with a late 2-1 win on Saturday.

If you're looking for omens, United have won all three previous meetings with "The Wolves" including a Michael Owen hat-trick in a 3-1 win on our only only other trip to Wolfsburg in 2009.

Form guide: Wolfsburg L L W W D L United W W W D D D
Match odds Wolfsburg 7/5 Draw 23/10 United 9/4
Referee: Milorad Mazic (Serbia) 

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