Tuesday 18 September 2018
Match preview: BSC Young Boys vs Man Utd
Jose Mourinho's United will begin their 22nd Champions League campaign against a team who have never before reached the group stage of the competition.
Not a great deal is known in wider Europe about the team from Switzerland's capital and few would give them much of a chance of claiming three points against any of United, Juventus or Valencia in a difficult looking Group H, a group that looks set to be a huge baptism of fire for Gerardo Seoane's side. In April 2018, following a 2-1 home win over Luzerne, Young Boys were confirmed as Swiss Super League champions for the first time in 32 years as they broke FC Basel's eight-year hold on the title in the process. Young Boys have made a blistering start to the new season with nine victories out of ten in all competitions so far, with an eight-point lead already at the top of the Swiss standings. They did, however, need extra-time to see off division-lower FC Schaffhausen in the Swiss Cup last time out, courtesy of a dramatic late winner from Mohamed Ali Camara.
Young Boys will be only the second club from Switzerland to face United in European competition after FC Basel, against whom the Reds have a mixed record. From six previous encounters, we have won two, drawn two and lost two, scoring 11 goals and conceding eight. United did, however, get off to a winning start in the Champions League last season against deposed domestic champions Basel, as Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku scored to earn Mourinho’s men a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford.
Luke Shaw is set to return to the side having missed the 2-1 win over Watford last time out, presumably in place of Ashley Young at left-back. Nemanja Matic and Marcus Rashford are also available as their suspensions do not apply to European competition and both are in line to start on the artificial surface at the humourously named Wankdorf Stadium. Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo and Diogo Dalot are still working their way back to full fitness and the latter could come in for a long-awaited debut. The hosts are expected to be without Jordon Lotomba (knee) and Sandro Lauper (ankle) but Serbian international winger Miralem Sulejmani could feature on his return from injury.
The Reds have responded to back-to-back defeats against Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur with a steely determination and maximum points from both games played in September so far.
Consecutive, morale boosting away wins either side of the international break has changed the mood with all involved at United, and defender Chris Smalling feels that the team can sustain the new-found feel good factor, and said:
"On the back of two good away wins, I think we can build that momentum at a crucial time in a month where we have so many games in three different competitions. Our mentality has definitely shone through and everything has started coming together in the last few games. Burnley was comfortable for the whole match, the first half against Watford was good but we had to dig in when we knew we weren't going to have it all our own way."
Form guide Young Boys W D W W W W United L W L L W W
Match odds: Young Boys 19/5 Draw 11/4 United 7/10
Referee: Deniz Aytekin of Germany