Manchester United might have to summon the spirit of 1999 when it opens its Champions League campaign at old rival Bayern Munich.
United has started the Premier League with three losses in its opening five games and was booed by its own fans after the latest defeat against Brighton on Saturday.
Off-field issues involving Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho and Antony have provided unwanted distractions for United manager Erik ten Hag, who insisted after losing to Brighton that the team is not in crisis.
Wednesday’s trip to Munich could deal Ten Hag’s players another blow — unless he manages to galvanize the team to atone for its poor start.
United defeated Bayern in improbable circumstances before. Injury-time goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær earned United the 1999 Champions League title with a 2-1 win over Bayern in the final.
Bayern, the 11-time defending champion in the Bundesliga, is unbeaten so far this season, though it dropped its first points Saturday when Bayer Leverkusen came from behind to draw 2-2 in Munich.
Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel is suspended following his sending off in the team’s loss to Manchester City in the quarterfinals last season. Tuchel will be forced to watch the game from the stands and it’s likely Zsolt Löw and Anthony Barry will direct the team in his place.
United will be without right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was injured after making a short appearance toward the end of Saturday’s loss to Brighton.