Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Galatasaray v Manchester United - Preview

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Manchester United have already booked their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League so can afford to take their foot off the gas during a trip to Galatasaray on Tuesday.

Maximum points from their opening four fixtures have seen the Red Devils through to the knockout stage with two games spare.

Sir Alex Ferguson now finds himself in the enviable position of being able to rest key men and rotate his squad.

United will not roll over for anyone, though, and those sent into continental battle in midweek will be looking to preserve a 100 per cent record and maintain momentum.

A shuffling of the pack by the Premier League outfit could, however, play into Galatasaray's hands as they seek to keep their noses in front in the race for a second-place finish in Group H.

The Turkish giants sit level on points with CFR Cluj and only one ahead of Braga heading into Matchday Five and have work to do if they are to prolong their European adventure.

Galatasaray boss Fatih Terim has vowed to make 'two changes' to his starting XI, following a 3-1 reversal against Kardemir Karabukspor on Friday. He has, however, stopped short of revealing the identity of those set to be drafted in and out of his plans.

Galatasaray have a virtually fully-fit squad from which to select, with Tomas Ujfalusi their only long-term absentee. Aydin Yilmaz is a slight doubt heading into the game, as he is struggling with a bout of flu, but Terim claims he will be available 'if needed'.

For United Captain Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David de Gea have all not travelled to Turkey.

Of the more experienced members of the United squad, Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher are included, as are strike duo Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.

It means Sir Alex Ferguson's team will have a strong infusion of youth, including Nick Powell, while Josh King, Davide Petrucci, Tom Thorpe and Ryan Tunnicliffe are among those hopeful of having some involvement in the Champions League for the first time.

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