The sky is very gray above Old Trafford and could quickly turn black. The Mancunians are worried a few hours before the clash against Bayern Munich for their first Champions League group match. After the lesson learned against Brighton on Saturday at home (1-3), the third defeat in five Premier League matches, Manchester United are in a sad thirteenth place in the standings. In addition to mediocre results, the game proposed by Erik ten Hag's team is not there.
The victories against Wolverhampton and Nottingham Forest on the first and third days of the Premier League are in reality the tree that hides the forest. Man United have come out twice against much inferior teams but are not holding their own against clubs qualified for European Cups.
Beaten in the Premier League by Tottenham (2-0), by Arsenal (3-1) and by Brighton on Saturday, where they were trailing 3-0 at Old Trafford, the Red Devils cannot do it against the “big guys”. Worrying before facing the Munich ogre on Wednesday evening, favorite of group A where Galatasaray and Copenhagen will do everything to qualify and thwart the predictions.
The end of last season was good, Ten Hag's “paw” was starting to take hold at Old Trafford but this season the Red Devils seem feverish, particularly psychologically. The Mancunians truly collapsed against Brighton, unable to compete in the game against De Zerbi's team, as was the case against Arsenal where United collapsed in the final minutes. Against Tottenham the Mancunian team also seemed completely overwhelmed.
United seem off, especially offensively. Like the state of form of the team's star striker, Marcus Rashford. Last season, the Englishman concluded the season as the club's top scorer with 23 goals in 44 matches in all competitions, including an exceptional second half of the season, after the World Cup in Qatar. The England international is encountering more difficulties this season and is struggling to find sparkling form. The Mancunian has only found the net once since the resumption of the Premier League.
Apart from the actions of its number 10, Manchester United seem incapable of being dangerous. The Frenchman Anthony Martial no longer has the level to carry the Mancunian attack, the young 20-year-old Dane Rasmus Hojlund, who arrived in Manchester this summer, has yet to find his feet. The other young English striker Jadon Sancho was left out of the squad due to an open conflict with his coach Erik ten Hag. Finally, Brazilian right winger Antony was suspended by his club following accusations of domestic violence from his ex-partner. Team executives like Casemiro or captain Bruno Fernandes are also not at their best.
To top it off, the Manchester United infirmary is full to bursting. One of the pillars of the team, defender Luke Shaw, is injured for a long time. Two other defenders are unavailable, left-back Tyrell Malacia, as well as right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, affected against Brighton on Saturday. Sofyan Amrabat, who arrived on loan from Fiorentina at the end of August, is doubtful to face Bayern on Wednesday evening. The Moroccan midfielder trained away from the group on Tuesday, the English club said in a press release. Amrabat had already left his selection during the last rally due to a “minor injury” which was not specified.
The Red Devils will nevertheless be able to count on the returns of former France team defender Raphaël Varane and the other important recruit of this summer transfer window, English midfielder Mason Mount.
Facing Bayern Munich on Wednesday, the Mancunians will find a player they know well, Harry Kane. The former Tottenham striker who arrived in Germany this summer, author of 213 goals in the Premier League and 4 goals with the Bavarians since the start of the season, will try to plunge Manchester United a little further into doubt and gloom.