Manchester United have flown all the way to Germany. This is particularly handy, because Leverkusen play their matches in Germany, and this is an away game. Had Manchester United not been playing away – also known as playing at home – then they would have wasted a journey. Not only that, they would have to make a return journey to get back in time for the kick-off in England. Luckily, this has not happened because of the excellent organisational skills of the Manchester United backroom.
Manchester United have injury problems. Phil Jones and Rafael may not be fit to play. These are two of their best defenders. Tactically speaking, clubs like to have the best players. Exacerbating this tactical problem is that Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic will definitely not play. That is not because they have gone off football, but because they are injured. The currently less-than-good Marouane Fellaini will not play either, due to witlessly getting himself sent off in his last European performance. Marouaaaaane!
United had been playing relatively well of late. Relatively, obviously, because they hadn’t been playing actually well. That was until the wheels came off, then rolled into four different buildings and blew up, killing everyone. The draw at Cardiff City on Sunday showed that they cannot be trusted not to throw a spanner into the works, and then jump into the works, killing everyone.
Bayer Leverkusen, however, have started brightly to the league, and are second to the best-team-in-the-world-since-Barcelona, Bayern Munich. Since taking over Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola has of course got Bayern playing with seemingly superhuman powers, so there is no shame in coming in second to that bunch of dopes. With the brilliantly-named Sidney Sam, still missing a surname, injured, Bayern will be slightly blunted up front. That should not matter because of United’s recent ability of conceding stupid goals.
The problem for United is that they are no longer really capable of also scoring brilliant goals, late goals or stupid goals. Without Robin van Persie, they have the new, not improved Wayne Rooney up front. This Wayne Rooney can run a lot, put defenders under pressure, but he cannot pass, control or shoot very well. This is a problem. With the continued absence of any other midfielders, and the rancid form and injury of Michael Carrick, United are in huge trouble.
Bayer are a good team. United used to be a good team. Bayer should win. This started and ended as a preview. The match has been previewed.