Champions League Group A: Manchester United need a result against tricky Leverkusen in Germany

In-form Bayer Leverkusen are surprise 13/10 favourites with Paddy Power to beat Manchester United as the top two sides clash in Group A as both seek to seal their spot in the last 16.

Manchester United know that they will need to be at their very best if they are to defeat a strong Bayer Leverkusen side in Germany on Wednesday night.

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David Moyes side currently sit one point clear at the top of the group ahead of the German side and beat them in the opening group game 4-2 in September when they met at Old Trafford.

However, the reigning Premier League champions are not going to have a full squad to pick from with several injuries ruling out several key pieces of the midfield including Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick who are nursing wrist and achilles injuries respectively.

There are also major concerns over the fitness of Robin Van Persie as the Dutchman missed training on Tuesday morning and is now expected to be out of the tie completely meaning that Danny Welbeck could start straight away from his injury return.

Bayer Leverkusen are looking strong at the moment and have only lost one of their last 12 games since the defeat at Old Trafford helping them to sit second in both Group A of the Champions League and the German Bundesliga.

The biggest loss for Sami Hyypia’s side will be the exclusion of midfielder Sidney Sam who is out injured and is currently Bayer’s second top goalscorer this season with 11 goals in all competitions.

Alongside Sam, the German team will be without Roberto Hillbert and Stefan Rienhartz who are both on the injured list meaning that there could be some shuffling around in the home side before the clash gets underway.

Bayer have a right to be feeling confident though as the Germans have been triumphant in their last 8 games at the BayArena in the Champions League including a 4-0 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk in October.

In the other group game, Shakhtar could draw level with a win against Real Sociedad at home as they also look to keep their qualification dreams alive.

The Ukrainian side are considered heavy favourites to beat Spanish debutants Sociedad who have only managed to pick up one point in the group so far which occurred last time out in a 0-0 draw with Manchester United.

With Shakhtar waiting in the wings, the pressure is on both sides to try and get a result with a win allowing either Manchester United or Bayer Leverkusen to firmly put one foot in the last 16 of the competition.

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