Manchester United will travel to Spain to take on a huge clash against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side in the Champions League round of 16 first leg today, and Ralf Rangnick will be hoping his side can get off to a good start away from home ahead of the knockout game at Old Trafford in a few weeks.
The team have had players return from injury and illness in recent weeks with Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Raphael Varane all returning to full fitness, meaning the German coach will have the pick of his best players for the challenging game.
With that being said, this is how Football FanCast expects Rangnick to set up his side against Atletico on Wednesday evening…
We expect to see three changes from the team that beat Leeds United 4-2 at Elland Road at the weekend, with the manager combining Champions League experience with young talent.
The first change we predict is Raphael Varane coming into the side for Victor Lindelof, which would be a no brainer at this stage of the European competition, with the defender one of the most successful player’s in the history of the Champions League, winning four titles, so his experience will be hugely influential in the defensive line.
The second change we expect to see is Diego Dalot in the side over Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Rangnick has been able to rely on Dalot during the time that his positional competitor has been injured, and despite being dropped from the starting line-up against Leeds United, it would be surprising if the Red Devils manager didn’t show his loyalty to the reliable right-back by giving him the starting position in the Champions League clash.
Last but not least, youngster Anthony Elanga could be given a golden opportunity to start against Atletico after coming on in the 65th minute against Leeds United to replace a struggling Jesse Lingard.
He had a much better impact on the game, as the player hailed a “nightmare” by Gary Neville bagged the fourth goal in the victory and we think that Rangnick may reward the young forward’s hard work by axing Lingard, and starting the £3.6m-rated gem in Madrid tonight.
In other news: Rangnick must unleash Varane against Atletico Madrid