Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he is very much looking forward to coming up against RB Leipzig on Wednesday night, as well as testing himself against their highly-rated young coach Julian Nagelsmann.
Manchester United go into their second Champions League group game having despatched of PSG on matchday one, the Red Devils having been placed in one of the most tricky groups upon their return to Europe’s elite.
While United are a club steeped in European pedigree, their encounter against RB Leipzig sees them take on a side who were only formed 11 years ago, the Red Bull backed side rapidly rising towards the top of German football, seeing them reach the semi-finals of last season’s delayed Champions League tournament.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday night’s clash at Old Trafford, United boss Solskjaer was asked what he knew about his side’s opponents.
“They’re a club that have come up through the ranks very impressively,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference. “They’ve almost improved every single season. Last season [they were] third in the Bundesliga and now have started really well [this season]. They got to the semi-final [of the Champions League last season] and they’re really going for the big trophies.
“They have a young coach who is very proactive, a very interesting coach to watch. They’re very adaptable with players who have got very high energy and tempo. All in all, they’ve been a team that are very interesting to follow in the last few years.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 27, 2020
Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann has forged a reputation as one of the most exciting young coaches in European football in recent seasons following his achievements at Hoffenheim and Leipzig, and Solskjaer is expecting a difficult game against his ‘very adaptable’ opposite number.
“When you prepare for games you watch quite a few of the opposition games and, of course, we’ve followed Leipzig for the last few years and especially in Europe and the top Bundesliga games,” he added.
“I know Julian [Nagelsmann] is very adaptable; he’s capable of putting teams up in different formations, but the style is always there.
“The style is always one to dominate; it’s high tempo, high pressure. For us, we prepare for a difficult game against a team that can play in many different ways.
“Our focus is on ourselves, that we have to give them problems and make sure we can solve whatever problems they can give us. It’s one of those coaches and teams that you don’t really know what’s going to happen until it’s live. It’s a game I’m looking forward to very much.”
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) October 27, 2020
Meanwhile, United have been linked with Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano in recent weeks, and the Norwegian was inevitably asked about the young French defender.
“There’s always rumours and speculation about good players and Man United. I have always tried to respect that they are players for other teams. I don’t want to comment on every player that we’re linked to, but seeing as he’s playing against us tomorrow, I know he’s a very good player. We can see him up close tomorrow.”