Table of Contents
Settling the score
In their last outing, the reigning Turkish Super Lig champions defeated the Reds 2-1 on matchday three.
It was an embarrassing night for United’s backline as the Owls caught them on the counter-attack throughout the 90 minutes and were full marks for their first-ever Champions League victory.
That loss put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job in serious jeopardy according to many footballing pundits.
United will look to prove Tuesday that last time out the Turks were lucky.
On the Man United side, it doesn’t appear there are any new injuries.
Phil Jones remains out with a knee injury, Luke Shaw’s out with a thigh injury and Eric Bailly is still struggling with a muscular tear.
Midfielder Jesse Lingard is out after being in contact with a positive COVID case.
Paul Pogba has a minor ankle injury and his status for Tuesday remains uncertain.
Mason Greenwood is still ill and may not be ready either.
For Okan Buruk’s men striker, Enzo Crivelli and full-back Junior Caicara remain sidelined with muscular issues.
Starting keeper Mert Gunok and midfielder Daniel Aleksic recently tested positive for COVID and may not be ready in time.
They currently sit in 10th place in the league standings with 13 points.
For Istanbul, they’re coming off a 3-2 defeat to Besiktas in the Super Lig this weekend.
Last season’s champions in Turkey are in 6th so far this year with 13 points from nine matches.
Before this weekend’s defeat, the Owls had won three straight competitive matches.
United star Bruno Fernandes has three goals in his last two competitive matches for the club and leads the team in scoring with six in this domestic campaign.
Half of his 14 goals since joining the club have come from the penalty spot.
Heading into this season many wondered who should be Man United’s starting keeper with the long-term signing of Dean Henderson.
Lately, David de Gea’s proven he deserves to be number one with just one loss in his last five games and three clean sheets.
On the Istanbul side of things, Norwegian Fredrik Gulbrandsen is in fine form with three goals off the bench in his last two matches for his club.
Despite that, he’s still tied for most goals in the Champions League so far with four.
One of Istanbul’s greatest talents Edin Visca’s gone cold of late.
The club’s top scorer with three goals from nine games hasn’t scored in his last four matches for club or country (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
He was instrumental however in the team’s first-ever Champions League victory, scoring the game-winner and assisting on the other in a 2-1 win over United.
Struggles against the Turks
Historically speaking Manchester United teams have had their hands full solving Turkish opposition.
United’s lost three of their last four matches against Turkish opponents
They’ve lost two of eight home fixtures against Turkish opposition.
The last win came against Fenerbahce 4-1 in the 2016/17 Europa League group stage.
Playing against English opposition is brand new for Istanbul.
Tuesday will only be the second time the club travels to England for a competitive match.
Their last visit to England produced a 1-0 loss to Burnley at Turf Moor in the third round of Europa League qualifying.
Lately, the Reds have been a lot tidier defensively.
After conceding 14 times in their first seven EPL fixtures, they’ve conceded just one in their last two.
Manchester United’s won their last six home games in European competition by a combined score of 20-1.
Istanbul has lost its last three games on the road failing to score a goal in each of the last two.
Should Anthony Martial score tomorrow, he’ll become the first United player since Wayne Rooney to score in three consecutive Champions League appearances.
Rooney accomplished that feat in March 2010.
Istanbul’s current squad may not know Old Trafford all that well but striker Demba Ba does.
One of the heroes from his sides upset win over United on matchday three, Ba appeared four times at Old Trafford while playing for Newcastle.
The Senegalese scored against the Reds at Old Trafford in a 1-1 draw in November 2011.
Tuesday’s game kicks off at 8 pm from Old Trafford. (JSL)