There will be many interesting battles across the pitch on Wednesday night when Manchester United take on Real Madrid in America.
Wan Bissaka vs Sterling
Wan-Bissaka, who has seemingly forced his way back into Erik ten Hag’s plans for United this season, has a reputation for being able to lock down any winger that he comes into contact with.
The famous battle was when the 25-year-old played against Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling back in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first full season in charge.
They both faced off against each other four times throughout that season, and it’s fair to say Wan-Bissaka won the battle on all four occasions.
This eventually led to Twitter jokes being made about how much the winger struggled against Wan-Bissaka.
Sterling wasn’t the only high-profile attacker who struggled against the long sprawling legs of the English defender.
Kylian Mbappe, arguably the best player in the world at this moment in time, featured for PSG against United when the two sides were drawn against each other in the Covid-affected season of 2020-2021.
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It’s fair to say the forward struggled hugely against Wan-Bissaka and really struggled to beat the full-back with his superb acceleration and was matched stride for stride by the 25-year-old.
Earlier this year Wan-Bissaka shut down Brighton’s dribbling king Kaoru Mitoma, with the Japan international describing it as a ‘complete defeat’.
How will Vinicius Junior compare?
When United take on Madrid this week, it seems likely Wan-Bissaka will come up against Vinicius.
The Brazilian winger, who joined Madrid for £38 million back in 2017 according to Sky Sports, has been electric these past three seasons.
The 23-year-old capped off his fine performances for the Spanish giants with the winner in the Champions League final against Liverpool last year.
it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility that Vinicius performs superbly well against United but it seems even more likely that Wan Bissaka will once again perform very well against a top-class winger.
His long legs seem to always stop attackers from getting past him and you’d expect this to be the case again in America.
Thursday morning’s game represents arguably United’s biggest test of pre-season, and it will be interesting to see how United shapes up against one of the best teams in the world.
After Wan-Bissaka’s exploits against one of the world’s best players a few seasons back, it seems likely that the defender will put in another superb performance against Madrid’s best player and potentially be the key to stopping Vinicius from impressing.