Manchester United are likely
to field their big guns for Tuesday's Champions League encounter
away to Romania's Otelul Galati despite a weekend derby with
Manchester City looming.
When manager Sir Alex Ferguson cast his eye over the fixture
list he probably expected to be in a position to hold back a few
key players against the Champions League debutants but things
have not gone to plan.
Draws against Benfica and at home to FC Basel have left
United in third spot in Group C and Tuesday's game has suddenly
taken priority over the meeting with Premier League leaders City
"Tomorrow and then Sunday are two important games,"
Ferguson, who will almost certainly recall Wayne Rooney after he
was left on the bench against Liverpool on Saturday, told a news
conference in Bucharest.
"I think we have to win tomorrow and I'll play a strong
team. I could play several teams tomorrow and I'd consider them
strong enough to win.
"We have to progress in the Champions League but we have
four or five days to recover for Sunday's game against
"The timescales for recovery are perfect for us.
Fitness-wise we shouldn't have any problems. I don't think the
team I pick tomorrow will have much bearing on Sunday.
"The important thing is for us to win. That solves all the
United will also have their captain Nemanja Vidic available
after the Serbian defender's recovery from a calf injury that
has sidelined him since the opening day of the season.
He should replace Rio Ferdinand who will be rested.
"Rio played very well on Saturday but we have Vidic with us
here and I felt it was a good opportunity to give Rio a break.
Playing three games in seven days is a lot to ask," Ferguson
Rooney was left out of the starting line-up against
Liverpool after a difficult week in which he was hit with a
three-match ban by UEFA for his red card in England's Euro 2012
qualifier against Montenegro.
"I think Wayne's ready," the Reds boss said. "When he came
on [against Liverpool] I thought he was bubbly, full of energy
and enthusiasm. He was desperate to get on, which was good."
Galati are without a point in the group after one-goal
defeats by Basel and Benfica but Ferguson is expecting the hosts
to be testing opponents.
"In the Benfica game there wasn't a lot between the teams
and Galati were unlucky not to get a draw," he said.
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