Manchester United are not in the position they would have hoped with just two games remaining of the Champions League group stage.
When drawn alongside Bayern Munich, Galatasaray and Copenhagen in Group A, the Red Devils were expected to compete for the top spot with the German Bundesliga outfit.
However, Erik ten Hag’s men are currently bottom of the standings, with just one win in four games, and face an uphill task if they are to progress to the knockouts of Europe’s elite club competition.
A defeat in their penultimate game against Galatasaray in Istanbul on November 29 would see them eliminated from the Champions League, regardless of the outcome of their match against Bayern at home on December 12.
It could prove to be a crucial game for both sides, so let’s take a look at four players — two from each side — who could make a difference in the 90 minutes.
Mauro Icardi – Galatasaray
The experienced Mauro Icardi has proven to be a fantastic signing for Galatasaray, scoring 22 times in 24 games for the Turkish side as he helped guide them to Super Lig glory for the first time since 2019 last season.
The Argentine has carried on his fine form this campaign, as he has 15 strikes in 20 games across all competitions.
Icardi has notched twice in his side’s four group games, scoring against the Red Devils and Bayern Munich.
If the Turkish outfit are to cause an upset in the Galatasaray v Man Utd odds again, then the 30-year-old will play a leading role.
Rasmus Hojlund – Manchester United
Whether or not Rasmus Hojlund will be fit in time for this crucial encounter remains to be seen, as the forward suffered a muscle strain before the recent international.
However, given how important the Denmark international has been for Man United thus far in the Champions League, the Red Devils’ rehabilitation team will do all they can to have him ready.
Hojlund is the joint-top scorer in the competition alongside Alvaro Morata with five goals in four games, including netting a brace when they lost 3-2 at home to Galatasaray in October.
With Marcus Rashford already suspended for his red card against Copenhagen last time, it’s even more imperative that Hojlund plays.
Wilfried Zaha – Galatasaray
There’s no doubt that former Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha is going to want to be a thorn in the side of his ex-employer once again.
The Ivory Coast international scored to make it 1-1 when Galatasaray went on to win 3-2 at Old Trafford, and you wouldn’t bet against him getting on the scoresheet again in the football betting odds.
As well as his strike against Man United, Zaha also assisted Tete’s late equaliser in the 2-2 draw against Copenhagen on matchday one of the group stages.
But he failed to make much of an impact in the back-to-back defeats to Bayern Munich, as Galatasaray lost 3-1 and 2-1 to the German champions.
Bruno Fernandes – Manchester United
Bruno Fernandes seems to be getting less prolific with every passing season in a Manchester United shirt.
And there are rumours that the Red Devils could cash in on the midfielder should a substantial bid from Saudi Arabia come.
However, for now, he remains a key cog in ten Hag’s midfield and with so many injuries and absentees, it could be down to Fernandes to make Man United tick from the middle of the park.
Fernandes assisted one of Casemiro’s goals in the 4-3 loss to Bayern and scored from the spot in the recent 4-3 defeat to Copenhagen.