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Predicted Man Utd line-up vs Atletico Madrid, Raphael Varane starts

Manchester United travel to Wanda Metropolitano for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

The Red Devils have registered back-to-back Premier League wins heading into the game, but their defensive performances have been far from convincing.

The same could be said about Atletico this campaign. United will be aiming to secure a first-leg advantage before the reverse meeting at Old Trafford in three weeks.

Interim boss Ralf Rangnick could make a few changes from the 4-2 win at Leeds United. Jesse Lingard, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Victor Lindelof could be dropped to the bench.

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Predicted Line-up:

David de Gea has been rock solid between the sticks for United this season. He has put in several stand-out performances and recently hinted that he would prefer to spend the rest of his career at the club.

The Spain international should have done better to deny Rodrigo’s fluke goal last weekend, but there are no doubts over his position.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka got a surprise outing at right-back against Leeds, considering Diogo Dalot has been the regular choice under Rangnick.

He started the game brightly, but there were several mistimed challenges later as Leeds easily got behind him. Dalot should reclaim his spot.

Victor Lindelof produced one of the bright moments at Elland Road with his terrific lung-bursting run in the lead-up to Bruno Fernandes’ goal.

However, he may have to drop to the bench with Raphael Varane widely expected to partner Harry Maguire at the heart of the defence.

Maguire redeemed himself with a captain’s performance on Sunday with the opening goal. He appears an undisputed starter at the moment.

Varane has vast experience of facing Atletico from his decade-long career at Real Madrid. The Frenchman should make his first start since suffering from a stomach bug.

Luke Shaw struggled to dominate the proceedings from left-back last weekend but has started every game for United since the winter break over Alex Telles. He could keep his place.

In midfield, Scott McTominay could rekindle his partnership with Paul Pogba, who was surprisingly substituted at Elland Road.

The Frenchman was one of the best players on the pitch, but Rangnick swapped him with Fred as he appeared to be fatigued.

The move was proved right despite fan criticism. Fred put United 3-2 ahead after some brilliant link-up play with Jadon Sancho.

Despite his heroics, Fred may not start. McTominay committed several fouls against Leeds but did his job perfectly by disrupting their play.

Further forward, there could be a solitary change on the right wing. Jesse Lingard was a surprise pick to start against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

The England star hardly made an impression and can’t be blamed considering he has barely played this season.

Marcus Rashford was an unused substitute on Sunday. He may again feature on the bench with Anthony Elanga starting over him.

Elanga got the nod off the bench against Leeds. The young Swede continued his recent progress with the fourth goal to put the game to bed.

Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo should be confirmed starters against Atletico. Sancho and Fernandes made two goal contributions apiece last weekend.

Ronaldo has had a tough year with just one goal but should relish coming up against his old rivals.

He has registered a stunning tally of 25 goals and nine assists from 35 previous meetings.

How Man Utd could line up against Atletico Madrid

Stats from Transfermarkt.com.

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