Michael Owen took part in Manchester United’s open training session on Monday but will not feature against Valencia on Champions League matchday six at Old Trafford tomorrow night. The 30-year-old striker has been out of action with a hamstring problem since October but will not be risked as United chase top spot in Group C.
United beat Valencia 1-0 in Spain but a win for Unai Emery’s side will see the Spaniards progress top on goal difference. But Sir Alex Ferguson says he will not rotate his resources despite the Reds facing games against Arsenal and Chelsea in successive weeks during the build up to a hectic Christmas and New Year programme.
Ferguson can choose from a virtually full strength squad, with Paul Scholes also training this week although it is unlikely the midfielder will feature. Jonny Evans and Wes Brown missed out on training Monday and may not feature, alongside long-term injury victims Antonio Valencia and Owen Hargreaves.
However, Wayne Rooney is fit and will start alongside Dimitar Berbatov in United’s attack.
United hasn’t played since the heavy defeat at West Ham United in last week’s Carling Cup tie, although most of the first team has not seen action for more than a week.
“The sensible approach is to avoid the bigger hitters like Real Madrid and Barcelona and Bayern Munich, they are the teams that are number one in their groups at the moment,” Ferguson said.
“We can only do that if we finish top of our group and that’s what we want to do.
“We’d have preferred to have played a game on Saturday. The only advantage we’ve got is that no one gets injured.
“They haven’t played for 10 days. I will play my strongest side tomorrow and then we have six days to prepare for the Arsenal game so it’s OK.”
United remains the only side to not concede in this season’s Champions League and completing the group stages without leaking any further goals will represent a new competition record, although veteran goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar acknowledges the results have much to do with the quality of opposition faced to date.
“We may be through now but we want to get to first spot to avoid any of the big teams in the earlier rounds,” said the United ‘keeper.
“So far we have not played against the biggest teams in the Champions League. Maybe that has something to do with it.
“When you start playing a higher standard of opposition it is going to become more difficult.”
Indeed, Valencia has scored nine times in the last two group fixtures but domestically Emery’s side’s form has been erratic since topping La Liga early in the season. Los Che lost at Real Madrid on Saturday with former Red Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice. Ferguson says whatever the opposition United will raise its game on Tuesday night.
“In European games, they realise that maybe concentration has got to be 100 percent,” Ferguson added.
“It’s a different atmosphere and a different challenge. All players like to be involved in the European cup. You know that if you win your group you are into that stage of the tournament where it becomes very interesting.”
Meanwhile, Valencia has injury problems ahead of the trip to Old Trafford. Miguel returned as a substitute on Saturday for his first appearance since picking up a thigh injury. However, goalkeeper César Sánchez has made just two appearances since matchday three while his back-up Miguel Ángel Moyà has a torn thigh. David Navarro, Manuel Fernandes, Mehmet Topal and Jérémy Mathieu all miss the tie.
“We’ve got two objectives: the first was to qualify, the second was to finish top of the group,” said Emery.
“We’ve achieved the first and now we’re going for the second. We want to taste victory at a place like this, which would set our stall out and send out a warning sign to the other clubs.
“There are lots of big clubs left in the competition and a good result here would give us confidence for the challenges ahead.”
Valencia – 433 – Guaita; Bruno, Stankevicius, Maduro, R Costa; Albelda, Rodríguez, A Costa; Joaquín, Soldado, Mata.
Subs from: Saúl, Domínguez, Aduriz, Feghouli, Guaita, Dealbert, Stankevičius, Hernández, Banega, Mathieu, Monteiro, T Costa, Moyà, Navarro, Alba.
United – 4-4-2 – van der Sar; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Fletcher, Anderson, Park; Berbatov, Rooney.
Subs from: Kuszczak, Amos, Brown, Fabio, O’Shea, Bébé, Obertan, Scholes, Macheda, Smalling, Evans, Giggs, Hernández, Carrick.
Referee: Pedro Proença (POR)
Assistant referees: Tiago Trigo (POR), Ricardo Santos (POR)
Additional assistant referees: João Ferreira (POR), João Capela (POR)
Fourth official: Paulo Jorge Lourenço Batista (POR)
United – DDWWWL
Valencia – WWDWWL
96 thoughts on “Reds seek win in dead Euro rubber”
Canna wait its gonna be Majik.
I just hope he(Sir Alex) is no fucking(rotating) around with a strong team.Play the strongest defence.If we dont we will get stuffed.We in the next 16 stage will fall out of the desired”Glazers” preference!
Watch the Spaniards on the counter attack, if you think United are good they are superb!
Keep an eye on Saldado.
Cmon United, lets be having you.
did you even read you’re own article, he says best team, get them fletchshite and andershite out the team
Way to go. Get behind the lads.I would take you “round the back” and give you what for!
“Flechshite” as you so comically call him, is off form.Probably the best water carrier at United just now.He is not getting his tackles in or finding his passes.
Do you score every night with your boyfriend?
knob – ha, well maybe but I can’t see Scholes playing after a while out
would you prefer ‘taggarts bastard son’?
fletchers rubbish, this is becoming more clear to his backers, and the more our best performances coincide with him not being in the team the more people will see him for the villa standard middling shitehouse he is
we don’t need water carriers, fergies won two european cups without one in sight, water carriers just jargon for runabouty midfielder who can’t pass anyway
Yor are an idiot” taggart” you sound like a fucking Bitter.
He is the greatest living manager ever. Awa and find a way to wrap that scarf aroond yer neck…. and swing…. it will happen! i know it you know it bitter!
How many managers in the last 24 years?
Cmon United if you are there. lets win this and pit in a fucking European United performance.
Its gonna be tough.
I WANT to believe.
Meanwhile, back to the game at hand…
Would be good to see us stick to 442 and Berba and Rooney play with Wayne deeper. Need to finish top.
It looks like all the other English teams will come top (bar possibly Arsenal) – this means if you come 2nd the chances of getting Real or Barca are high.
But if we finish 1st – the worst draw will be an italian team, which given what Rafa’s done at Inter aint too bad.
Carrick’s form has been great the past few weeks, I’d think he’d be starting.
Raf Rio Vida Evra
Nani Carrick Fletch Park
Fergie has a real luxury here… a relatively safe game… already through, only playing for top spot, against a real quality side… had a weekend off, and 6 days until we play again, against one of our title challengers… couldn’t possibly ask for a better situation.
Tonights game will be played with real purpose… both sides will,(I think) go for it, with their best 11, wanting to win, without wanting to risk injury… should be an ideal warm up game for Arsenal… which is a much more important game.
Rooneys’ comeback from injury couldn’t have gone better… hopefully he’ll get a goal or 2 tonight and get himself fighting fit for /monday.
Valencia look solid but toothless.
SAF should play his strongest team but don’t be surprised if you see most of the Carling Cup players on the field. SAF wants most of his big guns well rested for the Arsenal game because he really wants to win that nineteenth league title. Personally he should not worry too much about ARSENAL, they are a very timid and nervous team. I predict 4-0 United against Arsenal. But you guys are right on, SAF should play his strongest team tonight against VALENCIA. SIX days is plenty time to prepare for Arsenal. Lets hope SAF is thinking the same as we are.
two euneuchs fisting each other
Very srong lineup but for VDS, Evra and Fletch (who arguably is no longer first choice)
(sorry that’s confirmed not my opinion)
Amos, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Fabio Da Silva, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Park, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Kuszczak, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez, Fletcher, Obertan, Macheda.
not sure if i would have put Amos in…whats up with VDS?
u beat me to it
still nowt like a european nite is there?
if they play like they can, the spaniards won’t have a clue
Interesting lineup. I wonder if Fabio will try too hard to fill the void going forward on the left (even Park knows he’s crap on the wing and drifts into a central midfield position as often as he can) and get caught out of position when Valencia regains possession of the ball.
The match will either be a snooze-fest or a bit too interesting for Amos – depending on which side Anderson passes to more often.
Its a good team but I knew SAF would feature a few Carling Cup players, but its a well-balanced team. Should have picked this kind of team against West Ham, being United were the cup holders.
wont be many goals tonight me thinks, need a hot drink at the match tonight, thank god that i am by the fire was -12 when i started work this moning, not good. come on reds, hi han.
hi mad red
fucking freezing out there tonite
-12c…….wow thats brrrrrrrr
come on reds
Anyone got a good Spcast stream?
nani close there
actually that stream is now playing up
Try here Sid…
oh ffs rio
berbatov passing poorly
very slow start
anderson would never get an easier chance. cunt
crap shot by Anderson, put your foot through it.
put ur foot thru his ass more like
come on reds
their no8 looks useful
somebody pls shoot that knob savage on 5 live
rangers 1up. come reds pass it about.
Oh fuck Berbs…
nani hit it,
Anderson is so shit a shooting at goal.
fucksake, their defending is shit and our attack is wasteful
our defending ain’t too clever either
is rooney interested in this game?
ya but we are just abt managing it out there. But they are spreading their arse cheeks, and we fuckin can’t get it up
How wank is Carrick. He is fuckin dreadful. “FACT!”
carrick you fuckin spineless bottling cunt
carrick u cunt
carrick you twat.
what a fooker
come on united
fuckinell, great shot from Rooney
A game we need to win to ensure an easier passage and he lets loose shit players like Carrick. Win this and we might, just might get through the next stage, loose and we’re doomed.
morgue like atmosphere at cold trafford
need to up the tempo 2nd half
SAF needs the hairdryer on at h/t just to keep warm
carrick needs a slap.
Carrick’s been poor, but we’ve clearly been the better team. Our finishing is the only thing that is letting us down. We should have arse raped them.
i know its cold out there but you’d think if you were on £100k + a week u’d want to put in more effort than some of those twats out there
no doubt carricks crying in the dressing room and will now go missing for another 18 months, pathetic shell of a man
rooney and andershite done well
45 mins to avoid barca or another of the big cunts who will definitely arsefuck us in the next round
u talking out ur knob, uncle? anderson should have scored for starters
attack the stretford end u fuckers
See the Sunlight wankers, we are crap and wont beat any of the big boys
I shake like a shitting dog when i here Smallings name. He does’nt fill me with confidence.
rio out again ffs
we already beat this lot you smelly fat cunt
rooney looks great
Right! Lets stop fuckin about! Get Berbs and either Anderson or that dog shit Carrick off, and bring Hernandez and Giggs on.
what the bollocks
son of predatorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
come on reds
win it now
attack the fuckers
its great having two fullbacks that aint irish lumbering fat shitehouses
ah brilliant wayne again an again
berbashite is a disgrace, he’s not gonna score for another three months is he, don’t I’m the satisfaction, sell him in jan
some of our defending is poor.
how has anderson suddenly become a centre midfielder
why the fuck do we give the ball away so cheaply?
is rooney on the fucking left
Smalling………………….Deary deary me. And now he brings on Norman Stanley for Anderson, “AND STILL THAT WANKER CARRICK SURVIVES!” Fook my old boots?
fucking well done to get thru as group winners but played poor in parts tonite
passing was pissy
rooney needs more games
berbs wont score for ages again even tho he was presented with some decent openings
rio looks as if he is out for a few games
smalling is a jingle jangle wreck at times
apart from that, we were great
hold on…anderson did good tonight…let him drive forward with fletcher holding and scholes playmakering (sic) and we will be sorted against the arse and chavs
but…he’ll go with giggs and carrick ffs…LKHFaffing
wow, amazed at how many of you whinge like a bunch of old midwives. Support your team or stfu. “his passing/finishing/whatever is poor/hurried/etc.” is preferrable to your choice of name calling.
Top of the group. boom.
Anderson and Rooney were excellent… Berbatov and Carrick were dreadful.
Fabio had some shakey moments, but he’s getting better the more he plays,(naturally)…
what a pair of lttle dynamos we’ve got in those two.
Either my ears deceived me on my way back from the match or our very own Ed was on 606 on Sport on Five after the match. He was spot on about pretty much everything.
We played some really good attacking football tonight which bodes well for forthcoming games against Gooners and Chelsea. We were sloppy at times but overall I’m reasonably happy with tonight.
yeah, it was a decent game, far better to watch than the vast majority of our games this season. created some great chances and some very good football played.
fabio needs serious positional work, especially when we have the ball. he tends to disappear up field or come inside and tends to follow the ball when defending. if he improves though, he can be superb.
anderson was superb. the amount of chances that were created through him running with the ball. also played well defensively and put in some very nice through passes.
Andershite good, superb, brilliant?,,,,yeah cause the other midfielder (Carrick) was shite utter utter shite.
Now the shit hits the fan when the big boys come to town to play and I can hear SAF now belating our lack of chances up front.
I’m tipping Bayern Munich for the Pot this time, they themselves have written off the domestic titel and are aiming for second spot, but the biggie in Europe will be their goal.