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Monday, September 13, 2010

champions league 2010, champions league group C man united vs ranger, man united vs ranger, uefa champions league logo

Champions League - Manchester United kick-off their Champions League campaign with a Group C clash against Rangers at Old Trafford on Tuesday. The clubs last met in the Champions League back in 2003 and United won both their fixtures against the Scots. United are coming off a bad result against Everton on Saturday, where they threw away a 3-1 lead by letting in 2 goals in injury time and Sir Alex Ferguson will be demanding a win at Old Trafford come Tuesday.

Manchester United

Man Utd were stunned by Everton's late comeback and dropped points needlessly for the 2nd time this season. They lost their concentration in the last few minutes, especially defensively which cost them two valuable points. But Sir Alex would have been pleased by United's performance for most of the game. Dimitar Berbatov was at his imperious best while Nani, Ryan Giggs and Darren Fletcher performed admirably to put United in a commanding 3-1 lead.

Wayne Rooney didn't travel to Everton as the club chose to protect their star striker from the abuse at Goodison Park. Sir Alex confirmed that Rooney will start against Rangers and more importantly declared Rio Ferdinand fully fit. The defender has been a huge miss and his return can only augur well for United. The partnership of Nemanja Vidic and Ferdinand is the best in the Premier League and with a few games under their belt United will hope they can turn parsimonious at the back again.

The loss of Michael Carrick to an achilles injury is big blow to United, especially with Anderson yet to reach match fitness. It seems unlikely that Paul Scholes will start in midweek after a gruelling game on Saturday and with an eye on the weekend clash with Liverpool, the manager might rest the midfield maestro. Hence, Darren Gibson could be given a chance to shine alongside Fletcher in midfield. The squad has enough quality and variety to ease past Rangers without too many problems.


Rangers left it late on Saturday to claim a 2-1 victory against Hamilton and a delighted Walter Smith will be hoping they carry the momentum into the game against Man Utd. Nikica Jelavic put them ahead before Madjid Bougherra's own goal levelled things up. Kenny Miller scored in injury time to help his side to a dramatic victory.

Rangers possess a fairly decent squad with the vastly experienced David Weir marshalling the defence. The former Everton defender has formed a strong partnership with Bougherra in central defence. But they are susceptible to pace and will have their task cut out dealing with the forward line of United. They have quite a few players who previously plied their trade, south of border in the Premier League in the likes of James Beattie, Kenny Miller, Kyle Lafferty, Weir and Bougherra, so they will have an idea of what to expect from United at Old Trafford.

Beattie and Miller have had indifferent spells in the Premier League but are capable of causing a few problems to the United defence. In Lafferty and Steven Naismith, they have two young attackers and they'll be expected to provide width down the wings. Walter Smith and Sir Alex Ferguson go a long way back and the former assistant manager at Old Trafford would love to get one over his Scottish counterpart.

Head to Head:

22nd October, 2003: Rangers 0-1 Manchester United
4th November, 2003: Manchester United 3-0 Ranger

Probable Line-Ups:

Manchester United: Van Der Sar (Gk), Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Gibson, Park, Rooney, Berbatov

Rangers: McGregor (Gk), Whittaker, Weir, Bougherra, Papac, Lafferty, Edu, Davis, Naismith, Miller, Jelavic

More about Champions League Click Here


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