Angelino and Julian Nagelsmann (l-r.) have RB Leipzig full of confidence ahead of their decisive meeting with Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League. - © getty images
Angelino and Julian Nagelsmann (l-r.) have RB Leipzig full of confidence ahead of their decisive meeting with Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League. - © getty images

5 reasons RB Leipzig will beat Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League

Fresh off keeping Bayern Munich in check for the second time in 2020, RB Leipzig have nothing to fear against Manchester United in Tuesday's decisive UEFA Champions League Group H meeting at the Red Bull Arena. explains why Leipzig will win and advance to the last 16...

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1) Bayern's biggest challengers

Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB Cup treble winners in 2019/20, Bayern have won 47 and drawn four of 54 competitive matches under Hansi Flick, scoring 174 goals and conceding 50.

Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are among Bayern's catalogue of victims, while only Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hoffenheim have got the better of the record Bundesliga champions.

Of the handful of teams to have faced Flick's Bayern twice or more in all competitions, only one has come away unscathed. You guessed it, Leipzig.

Watch: Bayern 3-3 Leipzig - in 60 seconds!

In February of 2020, Leipzig stopped Flick's side from scoring in an engrossing goalless draw at the Red Bull Arena. It is a feat no European outfit in the 14 games prior or the 39 since has managed to achieve.

When Leipzig travelled to Munich on Bundesliga Matchday 10 of the current campaign, they matched Europe's collective gold standard all the way in a six-goal thriller to stay within two points of the Bundesliga leaders in second place.

Other than Hertha Berlin, they are the only team at home or abroad to put at least three goals past the great Manuel Neuer in a single club-level game since Flick took charge on 3 November 2019.

On their day, Leipzig - as Group H rivals PSG found out on Champions League Matchday 3 - are a match for anyone.

Nagelsmann (c.) took Leipzig to the last four of the 2019/20 Champions League - only his second campaign as a coach in the competition. - imago images

2) Nagelsmann tactics

Nagelsmann is the brains behind Leipzig's relative success in recent meetings with Bayern.

On each occasion, the Leipzig tactician had a clear strategy to counteract - and counterattack - the red ballet. His team moved from three at the back in possession, to a five without the ball, accompanied by a high-octane, feather-ruffling press.

It produced the better chances in last winter's 0-0 draw, and enabled Leipzig to take 1-0 and 3-2 leads at the weekend.

Watch: A closer look at Julian Nagelsmann's Leipzig

And while Nagelsmann's side suffered their heaviest European defeat at Old Trafford (5-0), the 33-year-old didn't become one of Europe's most coveted coaches without a few setbacks on the way.

Having been undone by United's curveball midfield diamond and, in his own words, "superior physicality", the chances of lightning striking twice are about as likely as St. Nick refusing a mince pie at Christmas.

"We've learnt a bit of a lesson and can play much better," Nagelsmann opined after the contest.

3) Angelino: Nagelsmann's choice wingman

Nagelsmann's use of attacking wing-backs is key to his progressive philosophy. In Angelino, he has arguably the best left-sided variant in the world today.

The Spain U21 international joined Leipzig on a six-month deal in January, having been frozen out at parent club Manchester City. He ended the campaign having produced goal and two assists in 13 Bundesliga outings, and has posted significant gains after returning on a year-long loan with an option to make the move permanent.

Angelino is Leipzig's most potent attacking force this season with six goals and four assists in all competitions, four of which have come in the Champions League (two goals, two assists).

Watch: Angelino under the tactical microscope

He set up Emil Forsberg for Leipzig's third goal at Bayern, and could have a field day against a United team that have a habit of conceding early.

It might be as close as Man City fans get to seeing the former NAC Breda and PSV Eindhoven pocket-rocket sock it to their fierce local rivals.

4) Goals all over the pitch

Angelino's involvement from left wing-back is reflective of how successfully Leipzig are sharing the goal-scoring load in the post-Timo Werner era - just as Nagelsmann predicted.

"Obviously you can't replace a player like Timo like-for-like, so we'll have to share out his [34 goals and 13 assists] between more players," he explained following the Germany forward's summer move to Chelsea.

Since then, 14 different players - four forwards, five midfielders and five defenders - have collectively weighed in with 32 goals in all competitions for Leipzig.

Alexander Sorloth opened his account with a last-gasp winner against Istanbul Baseksehir, with Roma-owned Justin Kluivert following suit against Bayern.

Given the gains made by the likes of Ishak Belfodil, Joelinton, Andrej Kramaric, Mark Uth at Hoffenheim, and ex-Leipzig goal machine Werner in seasons past, it’s fair to assume the duo will become an even more potent threat in the months ahead.

They also give Nagelsmann a plethora of options in the final third not readily available to a Marcus Rashford-reliant Man United. The England forward has had a direct hand in 15 of the Red Devils' 38 goals in all competitions in 2020/21.

5) Red Bull gives visiting teams heebie-jeebies

Bayern are not the only team to come up short at Leipzig's Red Bull Arena.

Die Roten Bullen are unbeaten in 25 of 28 home games in all competitions under Nagelsmann, running out winners over Basaksehir and PSG in this season's groups, and dispatching Tottenham Hotspur - who thumped United 6-1 a few months back - 3-0 in their 2019/20 last-16 second leg.

They've also won eight in a row, and are unbeaten in their last five Champions League assignments on their own patch...