Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said the Red Devils made a "statement" with their uncompromising performance in the FA Cup win over Liverpool.

United's 3-2 victory at Old Trafford was clinched by a stunning 78th-minute free-kick from substitute Bruno Fernandes, after earlier goals from Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford on Sunday.

A double from Mohamed Salah had kept Liverpool firmly in the game before Fernandes cracked a sublime shot into the right corner, having spent extra time honing his technique on Saturday.

What most pleased Solskjaer was how United were able to thrive while playing their natural attacking game against Premier League champions Liverpool, rather than make special allowances for the opposition.

"We've found a way we believe in, the players believe in, and we're getting stronger and stronger," Solskjaer said.

"We look at the difference from a year ago or six months back. You can't take too many big strides at one point but we're gradually, layer by layer, getting better, winning tight games, so you have the morale and the confidence of course is very good.

"It's a good feeling to play on our terms."

Solskjaer said United have previously adopted "different systems to nullify opponents", but that was not the case in this fourth-round battle.

"Of course, that's a statement to ourselves," Solskjaer added. "That's a confidence boost that we can match the best with our style of football."

Everything the Norwegian boss appears to be turning to gold just now, with United top of the Premier League and through to a fifth-round cup tie against David Moyes' West Ham.

Even the decision to start with Fernandes on the bench proved a masterstroke, regardless of the fact replacement Donny van de Beek struggled at times.

The effect of Solskjaer's decision, relayed to his players on Saturday, meant Fernandes was granted more time to practise his set-pieces ahead of the game, and how that worked out.

Since his United debut in February 2020, Fernandes has scored more goals than any other play for Premier League clubs with 28.

Greenwood (19 years and 115 days) became the youngest United player to score against Liverpool since Wayne Rooney in January 2005, while the Manchester club eliminated Liverpool from the FA Cup for the 10th time – only the latter (12 against Everton) have knocked out a particular team on more occasions.

"Whenever he starts, I tell him to go straight in [from training] and he can't do extra free-kicks," Solskjaer said.

"Yesterday, I told him he wasn't playing so he stayed out practising for half an hour, 45 minutes. It worked and it paid off."

Rashford came off in the second half with a knee complaint, and Solskjaer said the forward would have a scan to determine if there is anything to worry over.

Attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard, not part of this matchday squad and a peripheral figure this season, could yet leave Old Trafford during this transfer window.

Solskjaer said he would "sit down with Jesse and decide what we're going to do", but did not exclude the possibility of him staying, suggesting Lingard could well come back into the first-team picture.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Manchester United to harness the spirit of the 1999 treble-winning side when they face Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Solskjaer will make changes for the tie of the fourth round at Old Trafford on Sunday after a 2-1 win at Fulham on Wednesday, which put United two points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The Red Devils are still in the hunt for three trophies this season and face an out-of-sorts Liverpool side who are smarting from a shock 1-0 home defeat to Burnley on Thursday.

United dramatically beat the Reds 2-1 at the same stage of the FA Cup 22 years ago courtesy of late goals from Dwight Yorke and Solskjaer, then went on to complete a famous treble.

Solskjaer says dumping the Premier League champions out once again could be a big moment in what he hopes will be a glorious season.

"Of course we can transform a few things from that season. We know that there's tight moments, very fine margins. We know in that season we were close to going out against Liverpool," said the United boss.

"Peter Schmeichel saved a penalty from [Arsenal's] Dennis Bergkamp in the semi-final in injury time. Those moments, I think they gave us the mental advantage, especially in the semi-final.

"But against Liverpool as well in that fourth round, when you get that boost of turning 1-0 down to a 2-1 win against a big team it's massive.

"The FA Cup is a run we've got to enjoy as long as it lasts. We got to the semis last year and we're going to make a few changes but we'll put a team out there that I hope can go through."

Victor Lindelof is available to return from a back injury and Solskjaer will rotate his squad just a week after a drab goalless draw between United and Liverpool at Anfield in the top flight.

"Of course the focus is now on the FA Cup," said Solskjaer. "We know it's a difficult tie, I'm not the best on draws, I think they should try to get someone else in if they want an easy draw."

Solskjaer also said forwards Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani could all feature in the same side at some stage.

He said: "I used to play in a decent team and the gaffer [Alex Ferguson] had four centre-forwards at least to choose from and with the four front men we've got, we have players to choose from who can get us goals in any game, against any opposition.

"I'm very pleased with the ones I've got and we’re working hard to get the relationships with all of them so we can use them in different ways and sometimes maybe all four of them will play."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his Manchester United side "are desperate to learn how to win" as they prepare for Wednesday's EFL Cup quarter-final tie with Everton. 

Red Devils boss Solskjaer saw his side fall short in the semi-finals of both domestic cup competitions last term, with the Norwegian having emphasised how important it is for the team to secure silverware and breed a habit of winning. 

That mentality is one Solskjaer has not swayed from as United get ready to travel to Goodison Park, his team in good form having beaten Sheffield United and Leeds United to move within five points of Premier League leaders Liverpool with a game in hand. 

"Yes of course it's [winning a trophy] something we aim for, we want to improve every season and to improve from last year is to get to the final," Solskjaer said.  

"Of course, when you get to the final there's only thing that matters and that's to lift the trophy.  

"I remember myself winning my first trophy, even towards the end of my career I think it was Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic's first trophy and it does give something to the team.  

"We're desperate to get our hands on a trophy, these players are desperate to learn how to win."

United hammered Leeds 6-2 last time out in a barnstorming fixture, one in which both teams could quite easily have scored more. 

Mason Greenwood was an unused substitute in that game despite having impressed in the 3-2 victory over the Blades just a few days prior. 

Solskjaer said there was a simple reason for that, explaining: "Mason is fit enough to play, he was on the bench – Luke [Shaw] came off with an injury so that had to be done, Edinson [Cavani] has been out with an injury for a while so I have to get him going and Bruno [Fernandes] is one also that I have to protect. 

"It just wasn't to be for Mason to come on so he will be involved in the squad as long as something doesn't happen in the next couple of days." 

Jesse Lingard's only appearances for United this term have come in the EFL Cup and he has not featured since the 3-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion in the competition back in September. 

Solskjaer said Lingard's absence has partly been down to bad fortune and he will be involved with the squad at Goodison Park. 

"Jesse will be in the squad, yeah," Solskjaer said. 

"He's worked hard in training, he's unfortunate having to isolate a few times, he's been in close contact with those with COVID not even having it himself.  

"He's been very unlucky being away from the training ground a few times, he's working really hard and he'll be in the squad definitely on Wednesday."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted with Paul Pogba's performance in Manchester United's 3-2 win over Sheffield United on Thursday.

Pogba set up Anthony Martial's goal at Bramall Lane as United became the fourth side in English top-flight history to record 10 consecutive away league wins.

Only Alex Telles (96) had more touches than Pogba (91), while the France international won three of his six aerial duels and gained possession eight times.

United manager Solskjaer praised Pogba, who has been linked with a move away from the Premier League giants.

"We made a decision. Of course, we know [Pogba's] strength in the air. We knew he was going to be important for us. He won almost every single header," he told a news conference.

"His vision, creativity. Paul's responded really well to the work he's been doing. He's fit now. Excellent performance."

Marcus Rashford scored a brace, either side of Martial's goal, while Mason Greenwood was the only other United player to have multiple shots.

Solskjaer hopes the trio can build on their performances, with Rashford having netted five goals in six away games in the Premier League this season.

"I don't think it's a key to get them on the pitch, it's key to get them performing. We need them to kick on, to start scoring goals," he said.

"We've done okay without them really firing. They showed their capabilities, now we need their consistency. Very happy with all three of them."

United, who climbed into sixth in the table, made another slow start as a Dean Henderson error allowed David McGoldrick to open the scoring, with the Sheffield forward also netting a second late on.

Solskjaer was happy to come away with three points, with United only five points behind leaders Liverpool and holding a game in hand.

"I don't have any frustrations. We got three points from a difficult game, a difficult place. You don't expect it to be comfortable," he said.

"The goals we scored were excellent. You have to accept the opposition have weapons, armoury that can hurt you."

Solskjaer's men host Leeds United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate will not set strict boundaries when it comes to team discipline but the England boss expects his players to be "reliable" and "good ambassadors".

Harry Maguire, Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood have all been involved in high-profile incidents in recent months that led to them being dropped from Three Lions duty. 

A breach of coronavirus isolation rules while in Iceland proved costly for Manchester City playmaker Foden and Manchester United forward Greenwood in September. 

The pair appeared to be shown in a Snapchat video posted by one of the women they were said to be socialising with at England's team hotel in Iceland, a meeting then forbidden under the country's strict rules in response to COVID-19.

Both were sent home and missed a subsequent game against Denmark, although Foden was recalled for England's matches against Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland last month. 

Maguire was also in the headlines for the wrong reasons in August after he was arrested while on holiday on the Greek island of Mykonos.

The 27-year-old – who was originally selected, then dropped from the October internationals – is appealing a suspended prison sentence after he was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and attempted bribery.

While Southgate is not prepared to lay down strict rules for his players, he does expect them to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. 

"I would think every club is going to want to minimise the issues," he told a media conference. 

"On a broader level, I mentioned the responsibilities of being an England player. That shows the change of landscape for any players involved with us. 

"We want the country to connect with the team, be proud of the team and that they are good ambassadors for everything we are trying to do. 

"Reliability is part of our criteria. I'm not going to say this is the line, and anyone who crosses it we don't consider, but we're always observing how professional they are and how they will be if they are away with us for 35-40 days. All of that has to come into our thinking."

Southgate was speaking after England were drawn against Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra and San Marino in Group I for 2022 World Cup qualifying. 

That means a meeting with Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who has started the season in scintillating form for Bayern Munich.

After 55 goals across all competitions last term for the Bundesliga and Champions League winners, Lewandowski has already plundered 15 goals this campaign. 

Southgate is an admirer of the 32-year-old and says his defenders will relish the opportunity to try and shackle one of the world's best strikers. 

"He's an incredible finisher," Southgate added. "I love the way he plays. He's got an excellent all-round game, protecting the ball, bringing others into play. All different types of finishes. 

"He's a huge talisman for Poland. It's a great challenge for our defenders to come up against centre-forwards like that.

"In the modern game, there are not so many number nines, but Lewandowski is absolutely in that mould."

Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial have been ruled out of Manchester United's Champions League clash with RB Leipzig.

Both forwards were substituted during Saturday's 3-1 Premier League victory at West Ham, where the Red Devils fought back from a half-time deficit to win through goals from Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford.

Manager Ole Gunnar Soslskjaer had hoped the injuries would be short-term but he confirmed on Monday that neither Cavani nor Martial will travel to Germany for Tuesday's game.

There was some good news, however, with David de Gea available again after missing the West Ham win and Luke Shaw back in the travelling squad after missing a month of action with a hamstring problem.

"David's back in, Luke is travelling, Edinson and Anthony [have] only minor niggles but they won't be making the trip," Solskjaer told reporters.

With Cavani and Martial out and Rashford battling a shoulder issue, much of the goalscoring burden will fall on 19-year-old Greenwood.

Greenwood has scored 20 goals in all competitions since the start of 2019-20, which is twice as many as any other teenager playing for a Premier League side.

However, minor injury problems and reports of concern around his application in training and recovery have limited his impact this term, with his strike against West Ham his only goal in seven league appearances.

Still, Solskjaer has full confidence in the forward as he prepares his side for a game knowing that a draw will be enough to guarantee their place in the last 16.

"Mason's a very talented forward," Solskjaer said. "He's one of the best finishers I've worked with and when we can provide chances for him or he creates chances for himself with his movement, we've got a good chance for scoring goals.

"He's still young, still learning and he'll only improve with the quality and experience of the characters we have around him. He's exciting to work with.

"You get to the last game of the group stage and you're in the next round if you go and win that game or draw, so it's an important game, of course it is."

Fabulous second-half goals from Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood helped Manchester United come from behind again and claim a 3-1 Premier League victory at West Ham.

Having won 3-2 from 2-0 down at Southampton last weekend and also conceding first in a 3-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's men were abject during a first half where Tomas Soucek's 38th-minute opener was the least West Ham deserved.

Glorious chances were spurned by Sebastien Haller and Jarrod Bowen either side of half-time, when Solskjaer slung on Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford in place of Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani.

Fernandes laid on the hitherto ineffective Pogba for a sumptuous 25-yard equaliser before exquisite finishes from Greenwood and Rashford put away a deflated West Ham.

Mason Greenwood has been included in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United XI for the clash with Southampton - along with Donny van de Beek. 

Greenwood has not started for United since the 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal on November 1, though the teenager did come on as a substitute in the 4-1 Champions League win over Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday. 

However, Solskjaer has handed the forward – who has scored just twice in all competitions this term – his fourth Premier League start of the campaign, as he partners Marcus Rashford up front at St Mary's. 

In midfield, Van de Beek gets his first league start since joining from Ajax with both Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay out injured, Solskjaer having stated in his pre-match news conference that the pair were doubtful for the clash with Ralph Hasenhuttl's in-form team. 

Anthony Martial is another absentee too, with Solskjaer confirming the France international had fallen ill overnight. 

Nemanja Matic, Fred and Bruno Fernandes – who Solskjaer has compared to Cristiano Ronaldo – were named alongside Van de Beek in a midfield diamond. 

Since his debut in the competition, Fernandes has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other player (24 – 14 goals, 10 assists), while no player has netted the winner in more different top-flight games than the Portuguese playmaker this season. 

Theo Walcott was rumoured to be a doubt for the hosts but the 31-year-old was passed fit to start alongside Che Adams in Danny Ings' continued absence through injury. 

Walcott has scored three Premier League goals against United, with all of these coming at different grounds – Old Trafford, Emirates Stadium and Goodison Park.  

Only Les Ferdinand (five), Nicolas Anelka (four) and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (four) have scored a Premier League goal against the Red Devils at a greater number of venues.

Edinson Cavani was handed his first start for Manchester United for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Istanbul Basaksehir.

The experienced Uruguayan striker was named at the spearhead of an attack that also included Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Teenager Mason Greenwood was among the substitutes, having not played since the 2-1 defeat in Turkey three weeks ago.

Paul Pogba, who has been nursing a knock, was not included in the squad.

Donny van de Beek was selected alongside Fred in midfield, with Alex Telles continuing at left-back for the injured Luke Shaw.

David de Gea was chosen in goal, despite pre-match speculation suggesting Dean Henderson would be involved from the start.

Facundo Pellistri, the 18-year-old signed from Penarol in the previous transfer window, was also among the substitutes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side went into the match as leaders of Group H, with six points from their opening three matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says people need to "step back" and appreciate the progress Mason Greenwood has made at Manchester United amid ongoing reports about his poor application in training. 

The 19-year-old enjoyed a stunning breakout season for the Red Devils last term, scoring 17 goals across all competitions. 

He has struggled on and off the pitch so far this campaign, though, scoring just twice in eight appearances and suffering the indignity of being sent home from England duty following a 1-0 win over Iceland in September for breaching coronavirus protocols. 

Greenwood was absent for United's 3-1 Premier League win over Everton a fortnight ago, while he was not selected by Gareth Southgate for England's recent internationals.

Reports have surfaced suggesting Red Devils boss Solskjaer has grown frustrated with the teenage academy product and warned the youngster about his punctuality. 

Speaking ahead of United's top-flight clash with West Brom on Saturday, Solskjaer revealed Greenwood has not been feeling well and wants people to recognise the strides he has made over the past 12 months.

"You have to take a step back sometimes," he told a media conference. "The boy's only 19 and he's had a fantastic year. 

"If we go a year back, I left him out of the EFL Cup against Chelsea. Mason stayed back and played against Doncaster Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy to get game time, that's how far he's come. 

"Now he's got lots of goals, made his England debut, scored in his first Under-21s game and, of course, the headlines are going to be about when he scores and doesn't play.

"Everyone's allowed to not be well. If you're not well you can't train. He's been away eight or nine days from training so we're just building him up again and I have no doubts about him.

"He has a very good head on him and the talent is there for all to see."

Another United player to have struggled this season is Paul Pogba, who has failed to score or create an assist in his seven Premier League appearances. 

He has also created just two chances for his team-mates. By comparison, Bruno Fernandes has laid on 10 times as many, just one shy of Mohamed Salah's league-high 21.

France coach Didier Deschamps recently suggested Pogba is not satisfied with his "situation" at United after struggling to find his best form.

Solskjaer, however, believes Pogba will be rejuvenated after starting all three of Les Bleus' internationals over the past fortnight and expects the 27-year-old to be an integral player for United as the season progresses. 

"Paul had a difficult season last season and had COVID-19 in this one, but those three games he played for France helped," he added.

"I spoke to Paul and he felt towards the end of the Portugal and Sweden games he felt stronger. He played well and I think he's only going to improve.

"Paul is a very important player and very important person for us and to have him in form and happy is going be important."

Phil Foden has been recalled to the England squad after being cut from the team in September for breaching coronavirus protocols.

Manchester City midfielder Foden and Manchester United attacker Mason Greenwood were sent home following the Nations League clash with Iceland.

Manager Gareth Southgate left the duo out of his squad for international fixtures in October to "send a message" that stepping out of line with England will not be tolerated.

Foden has now been restored to the squad, though there was no space for Mason Greenwood despite Harvey Barnes being overlooked and Danny Ings missing out through injury.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday regarding Greenwood, Southgate said: "Firstly, we've huge belief in him as a young player, he's on an incredible trajectory for someone so young.

"So, although this may be a disappointment for him, there's a huge amount of time ahead for him.

"He's an outstanding finisher and goal-scorer. He's not had a huge amount of football lately but this is an incredibly long season and he only had a short break at the end of last season.

"He's at a club that cares for young players very well, deals with young players well, they've managed his trajectory to this point extremely well and I know they'll continue to do that.

"I've spoken to Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer, United manager] this week and we are aligned in helping him to be the best player he can possibly be."

Southgate also insisted that Foden's call-up is completely disconnected from Greenwood's situation.

"They don't come as a pair," he added. "They're individual players with their own strengths. We are looking at the balance of the squad positionally.

"Phil has had quite a lot of football with his club. As for Mason, I've had a good chat with Ole. I think it's better to stay with his club.

"There was no carry-over [from the Iceland incident]. That's done. Both are available for selection. Both are going to be very good players.

"They're now judged on the football but they're both in areas where there is a lot of competition."

Raheem Sterling is available again after missing the previous three matches due to injury, while Reece James retained his place despite being shown a red card at the end of the 1-0 loss to Denmark in October.

James and Harry Maguire, who also saw red against Denmark, will miss the Nations League meeting with Belgium on November 15.

England face the Republic of Ireland next Thursday and follow the clash with Belgium by hosting Iceland at Wembley three days later.

 

England squad:

Dean Henderson (Manchester United), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Reece James (Chelsea), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid), Kyle Walker (Manchester City); Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Harry Winks (Tottenham); Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Phil Foden has been recalled to the England squad after being cut from the team in September for breaching coronavirus protocols.

Manchester City midfielder Foden and Manchester United attacker Mason Greenwood were sent home following the Nations League clash with Iceland.

Manager Gareth Southgate left the duo out of his squad for international fixtures in October to "send a message" that stepping out of line with England will not be tolerated.

Foden has now been restored to the squad, though there was no space for Mason Greenwood despite Harvey Barnes being overlooked and Danny Ings missing out through injury.

Raheem Sterling is available again after missing the previous three matches due to injury, while Reece James retained his place despite being shown a red card at the end of the 1-0 loss to Denmark in October.

Danny Ings will not play again for England until March 2021 at the earliest after the Southampton striker was ruled out for up to six weeks.

Ings enjoyed an outstanding 2019-20 season at Saints after his move from Liverpool was made permanent, scoring 22 Premier League goals and forcing his way into Gareth Southgate's England squad.

The 28-year-old featured against Iceland in September and then netted his first Three Lions goal at home to Wales last month, but he suffered a knee injury at Aston Villa last week.

Initial results were "favourable", Saints said, but coach Ralph Hasenhuttl revealed on Wednesday the forward was set for "small surgery" and would miss "four to six weeks".

Ings will not recover in time for the November international break - the final England fixtures of 2020 - as the race to be selection by Southgate for the European Championship hots up.

Using Opta data, we look at the other leading strikers contending for places in that squad.
 

HARRY KANE

England's captain and the Golden Boot winner at the 2018 World Cup, Kane will - barring major injury - make the squad. But the Tottenham man is not being picked on name alone. Kane has six goals and eight assists in the league this season, attempting more shots (31) and creating more chances (14) than any other forward in the pool.

MARCUS RASHFORD

Rashford has dominated the headlines in recent months for his work battling child poverty in England, but he is delivering on the pitch as well. While many of his best performances have been reserved for the Champions League, the Manchester United forward has scored from both of his Premier League big chances - the only potential pick with a 100 per cent record - and has two assists from nine key passes.

TAMMY ABRAHAM

Chelsea's significant investment ahead of this season appeared to limit Abraham's opportunities, but the striker has still played 288 minutes in the league and provided both a goal and an assist.

DOMINIC CALVERT-LEWIN

Calvert-Lewin might have already jumped ahead of Ings in the queue even before this injury. The Everton frontman, who scored against Wales on his international debut, is the Premier League's leading marksman with eight goals - one every 76 minutes.

MASON GREENWOOD

Ings is not the only forward to have been selected this season who is now sweating on his place. Greenwood departed early following his first call-up due to an off-field incident and has since struggled to impress in a United shirt. He has no goals and no assists in the Premier League this term, creating just two chances.

CALLUM WILSON

Wilson was in Southgate's plans before struggling last term as Bournemouth were relegated. He has rediscovered his best form since joining Newcastle United, though, scoring six goals from just 16 shots - an impressive conversion rate of 37.5 per cent - and creating seven chances.

PATRICK BAMFORD

An unlikely candidate, Bamford was surely not expected to be in this conversation but has scored as many as Kane and Wilson this season while outperforming Rashford, Abraham and Greenwood. The Leeds United forward has taken just two of his eight big chances, however.

JAMIE VARDY

If he can be tempted out of international retirement, there is surely only one choice as Southgate considers replacements for Ings. Vardy scored and supplied an assist against Leeds on Monday, and his statistics as a pure striker blow away all others. The 33-year-old has seven goals - one every 67 minutes - and has scored with an outstanding 53.9 per cent of his shots. No rival has been in position for as many big chances as his 10 and he has taken seven of them.

Matchday three of the Champions League is upon us as teams reach the halfway point of the 2020-21 group stage, and Wednesday's action sees plenty of the heavyweights hoping to take advantage of theoretically weaker opposition.

Juventus were beaten by Barcelona last time out in the competition, but this time Andrea Pirlo will be able to rely on the services of Cristiano Ronaldo, who will no doubt be licking his lips at the prospect of facing leaky Ferencvaros.

Similarly, Barca will be strong favourites as they face Dynamo Kiev, while Manchester United go to Istanbul Basaksehir and Chelsea host Rennes.

However, Paris Saint-Germain could find themselves in a particularly tricky situation if they lose at an RB Leipzig smarting from their crushing by United.

Here is some of the key data from Wednesday's matchday three match-ups.

Barcelona v Dynamo Kiev: Messi and Griezmann poles apart

Although Barcelona are perhaps no longer the force we expect them to be, there is no doubt they will be firm favourites here, with the Catalans unbeaten in their previous 22 group games, while they could win five first-phase matches in a row for the first time since October 2017.

Lionel Messi's form early on this season has led to some criticism, but few have the pedigree he has and he boasts 20 goals in his previous 24 Champions League appearances.

Contrast that with the much-maligned Antoine Griezmann, however. The Frenchman has just two goals in 10 Champions League games for Barca, one every 373 minutes – he netted once every 190 minutes on average for Atletico Madrid.

Ferencvaros v Juventus: Ronaldo licking his lips

Juve were without talismanic forward Ronaldo in their previous two group games against Dynamo and Barca, the latter of whom beat the Old Lady – therefore he will be hoping to make up for lost time against Ferencvaros, whose seven goals conceded is the worst in the competition.

In that game against Barca, Juve failed to muster a single shot on target – aside from the three goals Alvaro Morata had chalked off for offside.

A defeat for Juve in Hungary would be a huge shock, but if it does happen, it will be the first time the Bianconeri have lost successive group games since October 2014. Coach Pirlo played in the second loss back then.

Istanbul Basaksehir v Manchester United: Red Devils on course as Greenwood eyes history

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked in his pre-match news conference if United felt more confident travelling to Istanbul knowing they would not be facing a vociferous crowd – after all, the Red Devils have lost on each of their previous two trips to Turkey.

United have struggled domestically of late, losing most recently to Arsenal on Sunday, but Champions League wins over RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain have them in fine shape in Europe – no team has ever failed to qualify after winning their first two group games, an omen they should not ignore here.

Marcus Rashford was the hero against Leipzig, but Mason Greenwood also netted to level his team-mate as the most prolific English teenager in UEFA competition with six goals. The 19-year-old will set a new record with another in Istanbul.

RB Leipzig v Paris Saint-Germain: Germans desperate to bounce back

Leipzig's 5-0 annihilation by United last time was their worst ever European defeat and the heaviest suffered by a German team since 2014 – Wednesday's match gives them the chance to bounce back against the team that beat them in the semi-finals last season.

PSG, of course, have plenty of attacking talents for Leipzig to contend with, though arguably chief among them will be Kylian Mbappe, who has been directly involved in 22 away goals in the competition (14 goals, eight assists), which is more than anyone else since his first trip back in February 2017.

But the omens are not all great for PSG. There has only been one previous instance in the Champions League where a German coach has won away to a side managed by another German tactician.

 

Other fixtures:

Chelsea v Rennes

15 - Chelsea have only suffered one defeat in their previous 15 home games in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League (0-1 v Valencia last season), winning nine and drawing the other five games in this run.

3 - Hakim Ziyech scored his first goal for Chelsea in the Champions League on MD2, while he could become just the third player to score on his first two starts for the club in the competition after Didier Drogba in 2004 and Daniel Sturridge in 2010.

Sevilla v Krasnodar

13 - Including qualifiers, Sevilla are unbeaten in their previous 13 home games across all European competitions (W11 D2), with their last such defeat coming in April 2018 against Bayern Munich (1-2 in a Champions League quarter-final).

1 - Only one Russian side has ever won away at Sevilla in European competition, with CSKA Moscow prevailing 2-1 in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League in 2009-10.

Zenit v Lazio

4 - Zenit are hoping to avoid losing four consecutive games in the European Cup/Champions League for the first time in their history.

1 - Lazio will be aiming for their first away win in the Champions League since September 2003 (2-0 v Besiktas), having failed to win on any of their previous six trips in the competition (D2 L4).

Club Brugge v Borussia Dortmund

12 - Only Robert Lewandowski (15) has scored more Champions League goals than Dortmund's Erling Haaland (12) since the start of last season, with the Norwegian striker converting 12 of his 17 shots on target in the competition so far.

1 - Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has only ended on the winning side in one of his 13 appearances in the Champions League, drawing six and losing six of his 12 games since winning on his debut in the competition for Liverpool in September 2014 (2-1 v Ludogorets).

Mikel Arteta is impressed at the depth and quality of Manchester United's attacking options ahead of Arsenal's Premier League clash with their old rivals on Sunday.

Arsenal, who have lost their last two Premier League matches, travel to Old Trafford looking for a first away top-flight win over United since 2006.

Arteta acknowledges the high level of performance shown by Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer towards the end of last season.

United have since added Paris Saint-Germain great Edinson Cavani to the mix and defeated RB Leipzig 5-0 in the Champions League last time out, with Odion Ighalo another option.

"They create really good relationships and they are all very different," Arteta said about United's forwards.

"They glide together, have really good understanding and chemistry on the pitch. You can see that.

"They can play two or three different formations – they have been changing some things because of the opponents, because of the quality of players they have and sometimes to change the game in certain moments.

"We have to be prepared for that because they have that adaptability. They have a big squad and up front they have a lot of options to do different things."

United have won eight of their last 13 home league games against the Gunners, drawing the other five since that last defeat 14 years ago.

Arteta continued: "I want to believe we are getting closer to getting the win there.

"For sure our mindset is going to be to go there and win. That is the approach we are going to have and the gameplay we're going to put in place."

Arsenal did beat United 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium in January, so Arteta is looking to become just the second manager in the club's history to win both of their first two games against the Red Devils, after Herbert Chapman in 1925-26.

He will hope for improved displays from his captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has gone five league matches without a goal for the first time since November 2014, when he played for Borussia Dortmund.

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