Revealed: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans for Wednesday’s Champions League tie

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken out about his preparations for Wednesday’s Champions League match at Old Trafford against Atalanta

Atalanta will face Manchester United in Group F of the Champions League group stage away at Old Trafford.

With 4 points, Atalanta leads the table, followed by Young Boys with 3 points, and the Red Devils with 3 points as well, while Villareal struggles for air at the bottom of the table with one point.

While Anthony Martial is nearing full fitness after returning from international duty with France after an “health issue,” Solskjaer informed club media reporter Mark Sullivan that he is still unavailable.

Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The forward joined the team for training on Tuesday in front of the cameras, but he isn’t yet ready to make an appearance as the competition in Group F gets hotter.

The article shifts to Fred and Edinson Cavani who are reportedly fighting for their place in the squad. The South American duo were involved in a World Cup qualifier on Friday morning between Brazil and Uruguay and could not join up with the rest of the team for the weekend’s Premier League game against Leicester City.

The suspension for Aaron Wan-red Bissaka’s card at Young Boys has been reduced to one game following a successful appeal.

With Raphael Varane out with a groin injury sustained in the UEFA Nations League final against Spain, Harry Maguire is set to start.

Maguire came through the Foxes encounter unscathed on his return from a calf injury, so he is ready to start. However, Varane is absent with the groin issue he suffered during the UEFA Nations League final against Spain.

Revealed

“Anthony joined in training today, but he’s still not fit enough to join us [for the match],” Solskjaer said. “Harry’s not had any reaction, so he’s fine and good to go. We didn’t lose anyone else from the game through injury at the weekend, so we’re, more or less, a full squad.”

Cristiano Ronaldo is also in fantastic shape. It is worth noting that Ronaldo has scored a lot of goals against the team from Bergamo (Atalanta) in the past. In fact, 18 goals had been scored in the previous six games during the fixtures he played in.

A total of 4 of the matches have taken place in Serie A, with 2 more taking place in the Coppa Italia. Ronaldo himself scored three goals against La Dea, including a brace in his first meeting with them in 2012. In December 2018 – In a 2-2 tie in Serie A, he came off the bench to equalize. His team was defeated 3-0 in their second meeting a month later in the Coppa Italia.

A 1-1 draw in Serie A followed, with Ronaldo again failing to find the back of the net. He was twice on the scoresheet in their next meeting in July 2020, but again the spoils were shared in a 2-2 draw.

Yet another 1-1 draw came in December 2020 – but it could have been more as Ronaldo saw a penalty saved by now Tottenham keeper Pierluigi Gollini.

The Portuguese international finally came out on the winning side against Atalanta after a 2-1 win in the Coppa Italia final in May of this year.

His poor record against the Serie A opposition is quite surprising, considering Ronaldo found the net an incredible 101 times in 134 appearances for Juventus. However, the Portuguese striker cannot be ruled out yet as all eyes are on him and the team to take United top of the table in Group F.

Meanwhile on the Italian side in Atalanta, Rafael Toloi was hauled out during Sunday’s 4-1 win against Empoli, and the center-back appears to be sidelined with a thigh injury.

Matteo Pessina, Robin Gosens, Hans Hateboer, and Berat Djimsiti are also expected to miss the trip to Manchester for the teams’ first-ever encounter.

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