After the group stage exit last season the chance has finally come for Manchester United to redeem themselves in the Champions League. Last season a shock defeat away to Basel dumped Manchester United out of the Champions League after recording only two victories in their 6 games, both against Romanian minnows Otelul Galati. This season we must be better and I expect that we will be.
On Wednesday night our Champions League campaign kicks off against Galatasaray at Old Trafford. Subdued performances last season has prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to regularly insist that we will play our strongest team in each game and our strongest team is exactly who I expect will play.
Regarding squad availability, there are no new injuries. Rooney (leg), Young (knee), Jones (back) and Smalling (foot) were the only absentees from full training today. Patrice Evra and Anderson have both returned to full training. Darren Fletcher was also present for full training with the first team, very encouraging news after he was included in the match-day squad for Manchester United’s 4-0 victory over Wigan Athletic. There were also strong indications in the manager’s press conference that goalkeeper David De Gea will return to the starting XI on Wednesday.
The opponent: Galatasaray (stats)
Galatasaray are the current Turkish champions. Last season under their club legend Fatih Terim they equaled Fenerbache’s total of 18 league titles and are so far on course for a record 19th title. Sounds awfully familiar! They come to Old Trafford having previously disposed of Antalyaspor 4-0 on the weekend.
Watch highlights from Galatasaray 3-3 Manchester United “Welcome to Hell”