Manchester United must be quietly confident of their chances going into their UEFA Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid. Since the arrival of Ralf Rangnick, the Red Devils have looked difficult to beat, although they have drawn a number of games. On the other hand, things have gone south for Diego Simeone’s side, who look like a shadow of the team that won the La Liga last season.
Atletico Madrid have lost an incredible 8 of their previous 15 games across all competitions. On top of that, they have a number of players missing for the first leg against Manchester United, either through injuries or suspensions.
Thus, while on paper, this looks like a very difficult tie for Manchester United, in reality, they must be considered as the favourites.
It does not mean that Manchester United do not have their fair share of problems either. In fact, they are set to be without Edinson Cavani for the trip to Madrid. As reported by the club’s official website, Rangnick said:
"“Edi will not make the trip. He didn’t train and hasn’t been training for a couple of weeks. He has problems with his groin and, as long as he doesn’t feel ready to fully sprint, it doesn’t make sense to train him.”"
Manchester United will be without Cavani vs Atletico Madrid
This has been a stop-start season for Cavani, as he has struggled for form, fitness and first-team opportunities. Just when it looks like the Uruguayan has taken a step in the right direction, something or the other sends him two back.
Cavani had a brilliant second half to the 2020/21 campaign but this time around, he has barely made an impact. As a result, it is expected that he will leave the club at the end of the season when his current deal with Manchester United comes to an end.
As for the match against Atletico Madrid, it almost looks certain that Cristiano Ronaldo will be the one leading the line for Manchester United. Of course, considering his history of dominating Simeone’s side over the years, that is nothing to be worried about.