Connect with us

Opinions

Manchester United vs Bayer Leverkusen: Statistical Infographic

The UEFA Champions League comes to Old Trafford for the first time in the post Ferguson era, and Bayer Leverkusen are the latest challengers. In a group that is anything but straight-forward, Lever present the most challenging opposition, and both teams will look for a positive result to kick start their campaign.

Scroll down for the Infographic

As we all know, the pressure has been on Moyes and United to live up to their past, but a calm examination of the present will probably tell us not to worry about United too much. The quality is definitely there in the ranks, and the team has the experience it takes to win games at this level.

Leverkusen are making a return to this stage, and will be keen to make an impression at the Theatre of Dreams. The team is one that has performed well in the Bundesliga, finishing in the top 3 last season, and look strong despite the loss of key players like Schurrle and Carvajal.

United look much stronger than their opposition going into the game. Wayne Rooney has done well in his few appearances this season, and Robin van Persie has continued to find the back of the net with consistency. The problem for Manchester United is in the creative department. Michael Carrick has shown a tendency to falter under pressure. Tom Cleverley has been very neat, making about 70 passes a game at a completion rate of 87.5% this season, but not especially creative, as less than 1 of those 70 happens to be a key pass. Anderson has been consistently inconsistent, and relying on him against dangerous opponents like Leverkusen is risky. Kagawa is one who can make a difference, and shoulder the creative burden with Rooney. Playing Kagawa may also free up space on the left for Evra to attack, and add bite to the wing play. Defensively, United look rock solid, and this is an aspect that has slipped under the radar. Moyes has come in and solidified an already solid back line, with the Vidic-Ferdnand pairing looking hard to beat.

It is very easy, in the heat of the moment, to forget who United’s opponents are, but any intelligent man would think twice before betting against Leverkusen. Hyppia’s team are not one to be trifled with. The German outfit finished just a point behind Champions League finalists Dortmund last season, and Moyes and co. are well aware of the threat. Leverkusen have a good team, though not one that is littered with star names. Up front, the star of the team is Stefan Kieβling. The tall striker was the top scoring German in the Bundesliga last term, and has already notched up 4 goals this season. Behind him is the pacy and skillful duo of “Sam-Son”, Sidney Sam, and Heung Min Son (click here to read a Scout Report on him). Both players are used for their pace to effect quick transitions on the counter, and their skill to crate chances for Kieβling. Leverkusen are a team that looks to play on the counter, and are therefore not too concerned about dominating possession. They have an average of about 46% possession in the Bundesliga this season. This could be a slightly risky tactic, and that’s why we should expect to see Leverkusen press hard in midfield. They have the personnel to do so, with the likes of Castro, Lars Bender and Stefan Reinartz well capable of shutting down opposition midfielders. At the back, they too, bear a settled look. The gap left by the exit of Carvajal (click here to read a Scout Report on him) has been plugged by Giulio Donati, a solid, if unspectacular defender.

All in all, we can look forward to a game in which United’s midfield will be tested by Leverkusen. How well United’s midfield can use the possession afforded to them will determine the result. The battle between Kieβling and the United centre backs will also be interesting.

Manchester United vs Bayer Leverkusen

MUFCLeverkusen (3)

100 to Watch

Latest

Talent Radar8 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #6: Luka Jovic, Anthony Martial and Reiss Nelson feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar9 months ago

Talent Radar: A-League’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Brian Bertie writes about the 10 young players to watch in this season’s A-League. Australia have made rapid strides forward...

Interviews9 months ago

Interview: Abneet Bharti on Indian footballers abroad

SU Sintrense defender, Abneet Bharti, the only Indian footballer to be plying his trade in Europe, talks to Kaustubh Pandey...

Talent Radar9 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #5: Matthias De Ligt & James Maddison feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions9 months ago

Borja Fernandez: The underappreciated genius of ISL’s infancy

On the eve of the latest edition of the ISL, Arinjay Ghosh pays a tribute to Borja Fernandez, an ISL...

Opinions9 months ago

Tactical Philosophy: Domenico Tedesco

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Tactical Analysis9 months ago

Liverpool 3-2 PSG: Liverpool edge deserved victory against dysfunctional PSG

Siyang Xu writes a detailed tactical analysis about the UEFA Champions League match that ended Liverpool 3-2 PSG. Liverpool faced...

Talent Radar9 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Matthias De Ligt & Ousmane Dembele feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions9 months ago

UEFA Champions League: The 5 hipster sides to follow this season

Gear up with your organic ginger ale and mystical moustache oil, as Richard Pike briefs us about 5 off beat...

Talent Radar10 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #3: Maxi Gomez & Marco Asensio feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions10 months ago

Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Miles Olusina writes about Maurizio Sarri and the approach he is likely to take at Chelsea. Despite a successful 2016/17...

Talent Radar10 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #2: Joe Gomez & Bertrand Traore feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar10 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #1: Joe Gomez & Kylian Mbappe feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions10 months ago

Julen Lopetegui at Real Madrid: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Aamer Aslam writes about what we can expect from European Champions Real Madrid after the arrival of Julen Lopetegui On...

Opinions10 months ago

Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Charles Onwuakpa writes about Carlo Ancelotti and the approach he is likely to take on at Napoli. After three intense...

Scout Report10 months ago

Scout Report: Gonçalo Paciência | Eintracht’s exquisite forward

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Eintracht Frankfurt’s striker, Gonçalo Paciência. For those who have been attentively observing...

Talent Radar10 months ago

Talent Radar: Liga MX’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Thomas Harrison writes about the 10 players to watch out for in the Liga MX for this coming season. Mexico...

Talent Radar10 months ago

20 Key Young Players to Watch from 20 La Liga Teams

Tom Canton takes a look at they key young players to watch from each of the 20 La Liga teams....

Scout Report10 months ago

Scout Report: Alphonso Davies | Speedy Canadian winger

Griffin O’Neill writes a detailed scout report about Alphonso Davies, the Vancouver Whitecaps winger. While many still believe that the...

Scout Report10 months ago

Scout Report: Diogo Gonçalves | Benfica’s tricky winger

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Benfica’s tricky winger, Diogo Goncalves Having been deprived of their biggest...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More on Outside of the Boot

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this