Manchester United will look to get their stuttering Champions League campaign underway in earnest on Tuesday as they go in search of their first Group C win against Romanian champions Oţelul Galaţi at the Arena Națională in Bucharest.
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Two draws for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side so far in the Champions League have been far removed from their league form which has seen the go unbeaten in the first nine games of the season, and the Scot will surely be disappointed with anything less than three points against an inexperienced Galati side.
Ferguson has left key centre back Rio Ferdinand at hope for the trip as the England international continues to search for match fitness since recovering from injury as he was for last month’s trip to Benfica, but there is some good news at the back for the Red Devils as Nemanja Vidic comes back into the team having recovered from a calf injury.
Ferguson was highly critical of his side’s defensive efforts as they shipped two goals apiece against Basel and Benfica , and will look to the Serb to offer some much needed stability at the back and guide the likes of youngsters Phil Jones and Chris Smalling through the game.
Tom Cleverly and Rafael will miss the trip with foot and shoulder injuries respectively, while Dimitar Berbatov, who was absent for United’s 1-1 draw with fierce rivals Liverpool at the weekend will be available for selection.
Wayne Rooney was a substitute against Liverpool following the announcement of his three week international ban earlier in the week, but Ferguson is expected to unleash the forward on a Galati side that have yet to find domestic or European form so far this season.
They languish in 9th in the Liga I table and have lost to both Benfica and Basel already, and will need a miracle if they are to take anything away from Wednesday’s game.