Wayne Rooney will make his first start since recovering from an ankle injury as Manchester United make the trip north to Glasgow. United will confirm qualification for the knock-out rounds of the Champions League with a point in the Group C fixture at Ibrox, with Rooney likely to play the full 90 against Rangers as he seeks full fitness.
Rooney will start but Sir Alex Ferguson will rotate his resources once again, with Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher, nor long-term injured trio Owen Hargreaves, Antonio Valencia or Michael Owen available for the Group C clash. Ferdinand played against Wigan Athletic at the weekend but has a minor groin strain and will not be risked, while captain Vidic is rested.
Ferguson says that now is the time for United to hit top form. Despite remaining undefeated this season, United’s form has been little short of lacklustre.
“We’ve got to look to hit our best form and normally we do in the second half of the season – it can’t come quick enough to be honest,” said Ferguson.
“We’re still very difficult to beat; we dominate most of the games we play.
“We maybe need to get a more consistent team selection as we’ve had players in and out in recent weeks.”
However, Ferguson is unlikely to heed his own advice after the recent insipid display against Wigan at Old Trafford and will field a much changed side.
The Scot could recall Dimitar Berbatov to the squad after the Bulgarian dropped out of United’s matchday 18 altogether at the weekend. The £30 million striker’s poor form in recent weeks was such that Ferguson deployed Federico Macheda and Gabriel Obertan up front against Wigan, with Berbatov sat in the stands.
The Scot must also decided whether to start Javier Hernández after the Mexican scored a sixth goal of the season against the Latics on Saturday. Ryan Giggs, an unused substitute against Wigan, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling John O’Shea and Bébé could also come into the side.
Ryan Giggs may start after recovering from a hamstring injury, while Anderson is in the squad for the first time in almost a month.
Whomever his strike partner, Rooney will again be the focus at Ibrox after the striker’s 30 minute cameo against Wigan. The 25-year-old was clearly rusty, fluffing one good chance from six yards and seeing a header saved by Ali Al Habsi.
Now physically fit after a week’s training at Nike’s HQ in Oregon and 10 days at Carrington, Rooney is expected to play the full 90 minutes at Ibrox on Wednesday night.
Despite questioning United’s “ambition” – and by default the current squad’s ability – left-back Patrice Evra says that the players have not discussed Rooney’s protracted contract negotiations and the issue is now at an end.
“It’s good to see him back, good for him and good for us,” said Evra.
“When someone says they don’t trust in the future of Manchester United it caused us pain – but it is behind us now.
“We are all going to help him get back to his best and scoring goals for United again. It is another big player and the sort of player we will need if we are going to win the league again.”
The team certainly needs a fresh injection of creativity after a string of under-par displays, especially on the road, this season.
United can progress with a draw and despite the Reds’ poor domestic form away from home this season, Ferguson’s side has won eight of the last nine away from Old Trafford in the Champions League.
Meanwhile Rangers’ hopes of qualifying for the latter stages depend on results elsewhere. If Valencia defeat Bursaspor at home in the other Matchday 5 fixture, Rangers have to beat United to stay in the competition.
Former United assistant manager Walter Smith will be without Madjid Bougherra, ruled out for three weeks with a hamstring strain picked up against Aberdeen recently, while Maurice Edu and Saša Papac also miss out. However, Kyle Lafferty is now fit and could start.
United won the corresponding fixture 1-0 at Ibrox in October 2003, the only time the two sides have previously met in Glasgow. A similar result will do United nicely on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, having failed to score from open play this season, Rooney will hope for something, anything, at Ibrox.
Rangers – 4-5-1 – McGregor; Weir, Broadfoot, Foster, Whittaker; McCulloch, Davis, Fleck, Lafferty, Naismith; Miller.
Subs from: Foster, McMillan, Perry, Cole, Scott, Weiss, Bendiksen, Shinnie, Stirling, Wylde, Ness, Hutton, Dick, McCabe, Beattie, Little, Loy, Campbell, Hemmings, K Naismith, Wright.
United – 4-4-2 – van der Sar; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Park, Giggs; Hernández, Rooney.
Subs from: Amos, Brown, Fabio, O’Shea, Anderson, Bébé, Obertan, Scholes, Berbatov, Macheda,
Referee: Massimo Busacca (SUI)
Assistant referees: Matthias Arnet (SUI), Manuel Navarro (SUI)
Additional assistant referees: Sascha Kever (SUI)
Fourth official: Claudio Circhetta (SUI), Stephan Studer (SUI)
United – WWWDDW
Rangers – DLWLWW
79 thoughts on “Rooney starts as Reds seek Euro points”
Looking at that proposed starting lineup just fills me with confidence. I hope I don’t fall asleep during the match and miss the start of play in the opening Ashes test.
post in the Rangers V Utd thread.
its not closed though is it you fuckwit
Ok you wet tampon…closed
the blog and forum are linked ..ffs
Unconfirmed #MUFC team: VDS,O’Shea, Smalling, Evans, Evra,Nani, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs,Berbatov, Rooney
Never fails. Park is finally out, but he put O’Shea in. The boss needs psychiatric help. He has an OCD that prevents him from putting out his best side.
shrek starts alongside berba
lets hope 1 or both is on the score sheet
we wil scalp them. davis at right back is crazy, wiess is the only danger
rangers need to win…
that should open a few spaces for shrek to exploit
at least none of our guys is wearing a scarf round his neck
clear fucking penalty ffs
valencia already 2-0 up
make that 3
make it 4 now
Unlucky my foot!! Is that what we are paying all that money for you scouse dimwit??
I give up on Johnny Evands!! Giggs has been very good. Can someone please tell Nani to stick wide right.
now wasn’t that fun
Over all, we played some good football, but Rangers are defending like a team that knows it’s in superior company.
Rooney has looked much better, hungrier… Berbatov is even putting in a few miles, Carrick having one of his better games, and good to see Fabio getting some action.
A goal will be hard work, but once we get one, Rangers will have to come out, as they MUST win… I can see us getting at least 2 in the second half.
can’t make out what nani is up to
he has so much skill to offer and yet he has been poor
berba has just whinged
and shrek is playing some nice touches
how that penalty wasn’t given…….
Outrageous blunder by the ref.
what about the fucker in white behind the goal?
did he have shit in both his eyes?
berba has been very good,dunno what your on about
No, just 2,000 drunk, angry, screaming Jocks up his backside.
I agree… Berbs done alright.
berbatov has sulked or moaned on at least 3 occasions in the 1st 45 mins….
unlucky rooney again
come on united
Playing with Nani can do that to you.
shouldnt miller be booked for kicking the ball out when he was ruled offside?
why can’t we break these stubborn jocks down?
referee is shite
What a goal that would have been.
come on reds
Valencia 5 – 0 now
breakdown in communication…….ffs
nice play from berbs
Carrick is having an excellent game.
Why can’t he play like this all the time?
scholesy tackling and not getting carded
maybe its cos we dont play the scottish twats every week
game opening up
Game really cookin up.
schols been runing the show this half.. and hes ben taken off ffs.
the standard of refereeing has been poor
the turks have scored….
Without Scholes Carrick has decided to start pinging passes forward instead of passing it sideways to Scholes. And what a ball to Giggs it was.
Wahey EIH II and Sweetpea
rooney unlucky with that shot
giggsy was gonna twat that cunt
the jocks have taken off their best player
Poor showing from Rangers, if you ask me.
This is a game they must win… but the fans just seem happy to not lose.
Yeah, why not… save him for an important game… these cunts aren’t worth the strain.
give us some magic
That’s not a penalty, but it’s justice.
Get in… cunts!!!!!!!!!!
Rooney enjoyed that.
Finally Wayne Rooney doesn’t only score in Brothels.
3 minutes added on
well played the lads especially in the 2nd half
rangers were shite – at home with nowt to lose and scared shitless
should have had 2 penalties
both clear cut
but only 1 given
The better team, by a mile won… that was small time shit from Rangers… very poor.
Rooney looked good… his battle touch just needs a few more games.
Berbs played well, Carrick played well, Smalling played well.
Evra, Rio, Vidic, Fletcher all got rest.
Good result… Alfie happy.
that fan jumping on shrek….lol
that must have hurt fabio but credit to him, picked himself up without any fuss
nani u nonce
the level of footba in scotland is woeful if rangers are top of the tree there
It was a clear pen. The Rangers player kicked Fabio’s face in after Fabio headed the ball towards the goal.
We controlled the game tonight but I had a nagging fear that Rangers were going to catch us on their rare forays towards the United goal and take an undeserved lead.
Up until that pen, I couldn’t see us scoring even if we had played all night. Maybe a sharper Rooney would have scored that header in the first half or connected with that ball from Berbatov in the second (which would surely have resulted in a goal). All the same, it was a bit worrying that when we did have sight of goal we didn’t look like scoring. I would hardly have bet my life on Carrick scoring either.
Speaking of Berbatov, his body language in the first half was fucking appalling. He needs to wind his neck in and sort himself out before he has a pop at others.
Carrick had a good game for a change.
exactly my point about berba too
if he puts in a proper stint as he did so in the 1st few games, i wouldn’t give 2 shits about his whinging but he is like a spoilt cunt berating scholes for a poor pass to him as 1 example tonite…that bulgarian twat isn’t fit to lick scholes boots
You can’t judge us on that performance because it wasn’t a proper football match
In the first half, Rangers gave us the centre circle – In the second half they gave us the centre circle and about 20 yards more
The most interesting thing was the banter in the stands. United fans in fine voice.
that was a better display than the team has been serving up all season. still not good enough though.
thought berba, carrick and fabio played well. smalling was also quite good.
Yeah but that Penalty is like the Pro giving you first a blowjob then sticking it in.
I can see why it was given, but I don’t think it was a pen… he had eyes only on the ball, and Fabio put his head in… and it’s not like he interfered with Fabio… Fabio successfully headed the ball… anyway… a personal thing I suppose…
As for Berbatov… I think he had a very good game, and I don’t think his complaining is always unjustified… Nani can be a frustrating cunt to play with… and a lot of players have a go at him… besides, sometimes he just gets pissed off with himself.
berbatov was crap,
that was our best front six and we created nothing, the pen and the rooney crossbar header were fabios work