Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has opened up on his decision to make 11 changes for tonight’s Champions League clash with Young Boys. The Red Devils go into the game with their passage to the Champions League knockout stages already assured. And they’ll now be hoping to end the group part of the competition with 13 points from a possible 18.
Manchester United started their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Young Boys in Switzerland, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka seeing red on a frustrating night.
However, since then, the Red Devils have bounced back.
United have won three of their last four matches in the competition, beating Villarreal twice while putting Atalanta to the sword at Old Trafford.
They did also draw against the Serie A side in Italy, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring at the death.
Now, United will be looking to end their group stage campaign with another victory.
For the match at Old Trafford, Rangnick has made 11 changes from the side who beat Crystal Palace last time out on Sunday.
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Anthony Elanga should be on the left wing, with Mata on the right, having impressed Rangnick in training in recent days.
And Mason Greenwood and Amad appear to have been deployed together up top as United look to end their group stage campaign with a win.
United have gone with a young bench that includes youngsters Matej Kovar, Zidane Iqbal, Charlie Savage and Shola Shoretire, too.
And Rangnick, speaking to club media before the game, has now opened up on his decision to tinker with his team.
He’s revealed he’s ‘excited’ about watching the team play on such a grand stage, while also revealing he’d come to the decision two days ago.
“Well yes I decided two days ago that we would like to give as many of those players an opportunity as possible,” he said.
“And also to rest the others because the next game is coming up in three days at Norwich.
“I would like to see those players under competitive conditions in a Champions League game and I am more than happy and very excited to see them play today in front of 75,000.”
On Tuesday, Rangnick confirmed two additions to United’s coaching staff.
“Sascha Lense, who we employed as a sports psychologist, or a mental coach – whatever you want to call him – we worked together for three years at Leipzig, in the year I won promotion myself, and, in the two following years, he was working together with Ralph Hassenhuttl and Zsolt Low,” he said.
“So the fact that I know him has been of great help.
“Sascha Lense, who we employed as a sports psychologist, or a mental coach – whatever you want to call him – we worked together for three years at Leipzig, in the year I won promotion myself, and, in the two following years, he was working together with Ralph Hassenhuttl and Zsolt Low,” he said. “So the fact that I know him has been of great help.
“He’s a former Second Division player himself.
“He’s very much working on the field, on-hand, not in theory, not in putting anyone on the red sofa or whatever the cliches with these kind of jobs elsewhere.
“He should help everybody: the team, the players, even the coaching staff. To help the brain, to assist the body and not to work against it.
“I couldn’t put it probably in any other words than that. It’s helping, again, to train the brain, thinking the right things, always stay, in a way, on the bright side of life, if I may say so. That’s his job.
“And Chris Armas will be one of my assistant coaches. Since Michael [Carrick] is no longer there for me, it was clear that we need somebody.
“The thing about Chris, again, is that we’ve known each other for six, seven years. He was the assistant coach of Jesse Marsch at the New York Red Bulls. He’s then become head coach at the New York Red Bulls, and then at Toronto. So he’s well acquainted with the proactive kind of football we want to play also in the future. And, therefore, I’m very happy to have him on board.”