Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained why he thinks Young Boys will be a tough first opponent for Manchester United in this season’s Champions League.
United get their group-stage campaign underway on Tuesday night with an away match in Switzerland. Although Young Boys are the lowest ranked team in their group, Solskjaer is not expecting it to be an easy match.
Swiss Super League champions last season, Young Boys reached the Round of 16 in the 2020-21 Europa League but are back in UEFA’s top competition this term.
They qualified for the group stage by beating Ferencvaros 6-4 on aggregate in the play-off round. Solskjaer and his analysts have cross-examined that game, but also some of their recent domestic fixtures.
“It’s not just Ferencvaros games we’ve analysed, they’re coming into form in the league as well and the Zurich game was very impressive,” Solskjaer said. “They are energetic, attacking minded, we know it’s going to be a very difficult game.
“Astroturf is always a little bit of an advantage at home but we should be able to deal with it really well.”
Discussing the overall state of Swiss football, Solskjaer was once again enthusiastic. He looked back to the country’s performance at Euro 2020, where they knocked out reigning world champions France.
He also has previous experience against Swiss clubs in European competition and is aware of how tricky Young Boys could be.
“Very impressed by the reaction in the game against France, when they were 3-1 down and you could see their quality when they turned that game around,” he said.
“I managed Molde against Basel and the game against Italy was impressive as well. Some of those players will be against us tomorrow.
“The Young Boys midfielder I’m sure he runs 15km, he has great energy and quality.”
Solskjaer provides Cavani update
United have named a 22-strong squad for the game, but are missing some senior players.
Dean Henderson, Alex Telles, Scott McTominay and Amad Diallo are absentees, but perhaps the most significant will be Edinson Cavani.
The Uruguay striker missed the win over Newcastle at the weekend with a knock from training. It shouldn’t be too much of an issue, though, if Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to start again after his two goals in that game.
Solskjaer, though, is hopeful he will have his other experienced forward at his disposal in the near future.
“Edi is hopefully back with us soon,” he explained. “He had a slight strain during the international break in a behind closed door game. He’s working hard to come back.”