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Old Trafford welcomes Romanian minnows Otelul Galati in UEFA Champions League Group C…

Match Preview – Manchester United v FC Otelul Galati

Competition: Champions League
Kick-Off & Date: 7:45pm, Wednesday, 2nd October 2011
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester (Home)
Live TV Coverage: Sky Sports 2 (HD), 7:30pm – 10pm

Referee: Marijo Strahonja (Croatia)
Assistant Referees: Sinisa Premuzaj & Zeljko Novosel
Additional Assistant Referees: Igor Pristovnik & Damir Batinic
Fourth Official: Ante Vucemilovic-Simunovic Jr

Form: United managed a sticky 1-0 win over Everton in the Premier League on Saturday, leaving The Red Devils firmly in 2nd place. The Reds have recovered from their early season blip, also winning last week against Aldershot Town, by 3-0. However, United have just one win from three games in Champions League Group C, drawing two, and currently are position second, behind SL Benfica. A win on Tuesday would calm the nerves. 

Otelul Galati have lost three out of three matches in Group C, and come to Old Trafford more in hope than expectation. The Romanian side put up a decent fight against United two weeks ago at the National Stadium in Bucharest, but lost 2-0, with two penalties from Wayne Rooney. Galati are 9th out of 18 teams in their national Liga 1 competition, having won their domestic league last season. It is clear European footie is having an adverse effect.  

The Injury Front: United have lost captain Nemanja Vidic to suspension, following his unfair red card in the last Champions League fixture. Tom Cleverley is out with a minor ankle problem, while Chris Smalling will remain in the stands for about a month due to a serious ankle issue. Ryan Giggs, Ashley Young, Darron Gibson and Kiko Macheda are all injured, with some set to return quicker than others. Rio Ferdinand starts after being dropped. 

Squad: De Gea, Lindegaard, Amos, Fabio, Evans, Ferdinand, Jones, Evra, Valencia, Nani, Anderson, Carrick, Fletcher, Park, Berbatov, Diouf, Hernandez, Owen, Rooney, Welbeck.

Otelul Galati have less injury concerns than United, and manager Dorinel Munteanu will be hoping to utilise his eager squad. However, an upset at The Theatre Of Dreams is highly unlikely, with many predicting an easy win for United, especially if Sir Alex plays a strong and experienced team. Ioan Filip and Adrian Salageanu are both rated as injured with respective leg problems, while Laurentiu Bus is also injured. Defender Milan Perendija is banned. 
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The Gaffer: Dorinel Munteanu may have been one of Romania’s most successfully football players, but he’s yet to reach any standing in Europe as a manager. However, back home he has guided the club to the Liga I Championship title and the Supercupa Romaniei. Munteanu looks to have a good future !

Most-Feared: Gabriel Giurgiu is ready to act as the focal point of Otelul Galati’s game-plan on Tuesday night, with the 29-year-old central midfielder providing the attacking supply for Otelul Galati. The Romanian International has a handful of games for his country, and knows what it’s like playing on the toughest stage…

The Ref: Marijo Strahonja isn’t a familiar face in the UEFA Champions League, and that’s probably down to the fact that he is yet to officiate a European fixture. The official – from Zagreb, Croatia – makes his debut at one of football’s most renowned stadiums… Old Trafford. He better not mess it it up. Seriously.  

United Latest’s Prediction: United 4-0 Otelul Galati
– Wayne Rooney hat-trick & Dimitar Berbatov ?

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02/11/2011 8:59pm

United XI: De Gea, Jones, Ferdinand, Evans, Fabio Da Silva, Valencia, Anderson, Rooney, Nani, Berbatov, Owen.

United Subs: Lindegaard, Evra, Park, Hernandez, Welbeck, Pogba, Fryers.

Otelul Galati XI: Grahovac, Rapa, Costin, Sarghi, Salageanu, Neagu, Filip, Giurgiu, Antal, Pena, Ilie.

Otelul Galati Subs: Branet, Skubic, Benga, Iorga, Paraschiv, Frunza, Punosevac.

02/11/2011 9:44pm

Sloppy first half hopefully find some of the composure and concentration required

03/11/2011 1:25am

Happy with gettin 3pts but very sloppy in possesion,gotta cut th sloppiness out on sat against sunderland,on a more positive note we got another clean sheet,well playd Wazza considerin he was playin outta position,but all gr8 playas do adapt like wazza

Stephen Howson link
03/11/2011 10:24am

We didn’t really excite. Thought Nani wasn’t at the races. But we completed 523/611 passes, 86%, had 63% possesion. We were trying players in new positions, bringing back players from layoffs.

Was a professional performance. I hope to see a lot more of Rooney at centre mid. A player of his influence being involved so much can only be of benefit to the team and we STILL have 4 great options up front. Rooney being so involved, playing facing goal, with his passing ability. Fantastic option.

03/11/2011 1:30pm

not convincing still a win…. keep sayin it over n over again we need a gud playmeker our midfield is not upto da mark teams like barca madrid n munich will be so hard 2 handle….. i hope we get a gud playmeker in jan who is not cup tied so he can play for us in champions leage….. rooney played well bt not in favour of playin him out of position still miss da rooney who scored 26 goals in 2009/10 season….. plus we got 2 create from central midfield aswell cant just rely on wings 2 deliver….

03/11/2011 11:52pm

Dnt like th idea of wazza playin CM 2 often,dnt get me wrong i think he can do a job there but in my opinion he is wasted over there,he needs 2 b up there with a FWD where he can create more n score more goals


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