Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann is confident last year’s Champions League semi-finalists can triumph at Old Trafford on Wednesday even though he admits Manchester United are back on track after a poor start to the season.
Fresh from the most successful European campaign in the club’s short history, Leipzig have kicked off the 2020/21 campaign in convincing fashion, topping the Bundesliga.
They opened their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 victory against Istanbul Basaksehir thanks to two goals from on-loan Manchester City left-back Angelino.
Now they head to Old Trafford looking to win their first meeting with three-time European champions United, whom Nagelsmann believes are on the right track after a shoddy start to the season.
“I think the start of Manchester United’s season wasn’t that good but the last games I think went in the right direction,” the Leipzig boss said on Tuesday.
“We know that they are very good and very tough to defeat, especially when you talk about the forwards or the offensive midfielders.”
He added: “We are self-confident enough — our start in the league was very good, start in the cup and also the Champions League — to talk about winning the game tomorrow.”
The highly rated Nagelsmann, 33, said he had prepared for different challenges, pointing out that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team had played different formations in wins against Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle.
Leipzig beat Tottenham home and away in their Champions League last-16 meeting last season.
Nagelsmann spoke openly about going for another victory against English opposition, but was coy when asked if he wanted to manage in the Premier League.
“At the moment my personal career and my plans for the future doesn’t count,” said the boyhood Bayern Munich fan, whose heart was broken by Solskjaer’s late winner in the 1999 Champions League final.
“It’s important to prepare the team for tomorrow, to win the game tomorrow, to be successful in the Bundesliga,” he said.
“I think it’s normal if you are a young guy, you always think about your future. That’s normal and also part of the job, but at the moment I’m happy in Leipzig.”