Three talking points for Manchester United ahead of Bayern Munich clash | Champions League

It’s time to draw the curtains on Manchester United’s Champions League campaign this season… Or, is it? Can Erik ten Hag’s team, who suffered humiliation at the hands of Bournemouth last weekend do the unthinkable and beat Bayern Munich?

Even then, the crucial part here is that fate is no longer in United’s hands. If they fail to beat Bayern, there is not much point anyway but assuming they do, the game between Copenhagen and Galatasaray will have an additional layer attached to it.

The crucial part to remember is the fact that both games kick off at the same time. This eliminates the advantage of knowing beforehand the result of the other game. If either Copenhagen or Galatasaray emerge victorious, the best United can manage is a Europa League finish.

Heads have started to drop at Manchester United (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Heads have started to drop at Manchester United (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Most groups with the exception of a few seem to already be decided. United have managed to make this group very interesting with their shambolic performances. Could there be one more twist in this saga or are they leaving it a bit too late?

We at WAFU bring to you three talking points for Manchester United ahead of this momentous Bayern Munich clash.

1. The wounded tiger narrative:

Bayern Munich simply don’t lose games. Losing 5-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt would have hurt their egos. Anything other than a resounding performance from Thomas Tuchel’s side at Old Trafford would be a huge surprise. Losing two consecutive games usually means crisis for the German giants and they are unlikely to let that happen.

Do you know what’s worse than facing a tiger? Facing a wounded one. The strike can be deadly. The German giants may have qualified and assured themselves a spot at the top of their group but they would be taking this game very seriously. Erik ten Hag can expect no favours from a team he once was the assistant manager at.

Bayern Munich are wounded tigers (Photo by Neil Baynes/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich are wounded tigers (Photo by Neil Baynes/Getty Images)

What can United do? Reverse the roles. The Red Devils are coming off an equally disappointing loss to Bournemouth and should ideally be hurting like Bayern are. Can they channelise the same energy that Bayern do and put in a performance to remember for the ages?

2. A chance at redemption?

So many Manchester United players have not been in the greatest form this season. Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Antony, the Premier League version of Rasmus Hojlund, Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Mason Mount – the list just keeps going on and on.

Whilst some of the aforementioned players are unavailable for the Bayern Munich clash, if there is one performance that can single-handedly salvage the seasons of some of these individuals, it will have to be this one. Will anyone take this chance at redemption?

A chance at redemption, but for whom? (Baker/Getty Images)
A chance at redemption, but for whom? (Baker/Getty Images)

There is one more person at United who is looking for redemption and that’s manager Erik ten Hag. The Dutchman has had a horrendous season so far, slowly yet surely losing the faith of the OT faithful. Could this game be a turning point in the manager’s career?

3. The last straw?

What if United don’t win this game? Could there be repercussions? Would it finally be time for the axe to fall on Erik ten Hag’s head? Just how much more goodwill has the Dutchman earned?

If the Red Devils win this game and still fail to qualify, not much might change. It would represent yet another campaign in the Europa League. In United parlance, it would merely represent a more realistic chance to win a trophy.

Could tonight be Erik ten Hag's last night as Manchester United boss? (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Could tonight be Erik ten Hag’s last night as Manchester United boss? (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The worst-case scenario would be the English giants missing out on Europe completely. This could have catastrophic effects for United from a sporting and financial perspective. A lot is riding on this game for United. They have to look at the bigger picture.

The game against Bayern Munich could make or break United’s season. Frankfurt have shown us that the German giants are not invincible. Can the team give the fans some joy by putting in a performance for the ages or is it going to be the same old familiar story of more heartbreak? Well, only time can tell that!