Manchester United - Galatasaray Preview: Sir Alex Ferguson's side aim for improvement after group-stage exit last season
The Red Devils will look to put the Turkish champions to the sword at Old Trafford and put to rest the disappointment of crashing out at this stage of the competition last year
By Husmukh Kerai
Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Buttner
Valencia, Kagawa, Nani
Eboue, Cris, Kaya, Balta
Melo, Inan, A Yilmaz
B Yilmaz, Elmander, Amrabat
Patrice Evra (knock) looks set to miss Manchester United's opening Champions League match with Alexander Buttner set to continue in his place.
Wayne Rooney (thigh) is touch-and-go but Ashley Young (knee) will not recover in time to face Fatih Terim's side and focus their attention on a comeback against Liverpool on Sunday.
Chris Smalling (metatarsal) and Phil Jones (knee) are still long-term absentees.
The most notable player missing for the Turkish side is veteran Czech defender Tomas Ujfalusi (Cruciate Ligament) who will probably miss the remainder of the season.
Engin Beytar may feature after sitting out the Turkish champions' league matches so far this eason due to suspension.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard (pictured right) is yet to concede a goal for the club at Old Trafford.
- The Red Devils are competing in their 17th successive Champions League group stage.
- United have won three, drawn once and lost twice at home against Turkish teams. Beşiktaş were the last visiting side to win at Old Trafford in 2009-10.
- This is Galatasaray's first appearance in the Champions League group stage since 2006-07.
- The clubs met in the 1994-95 groups, drawing 0-0 in Istanbul before a 4-0 United home victory featuring David Beckham's first goal for the club.
- Galatasaray have never won in England, having drawn three and lost four. Their most recent trip brought a 3-2
group stage defeat at Liverpool in 2006-07.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester United 3-0 Galatasaray
- 23.4 %
Manchester United 2-0 Galatasaray
- 13.36 %
Manchester United 3-1 Galatasaray
- 12.74 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||20 Nov 2012||Galatasaray 1 - Manchester United 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||19 Sep 2012||Manchester United 1 - Galatasaray 0|
|18 Dec 2013||Stoke City 0 - Manchester United 2||CCUP|
|15 Dec 2013||Aston Villa 0 - Manchester United 3||EPL|
|10 Dec 2013||Manchester United 1 - Shakhtar Donetsk 0||UCL|
|7 Dec 2013||Manchester United 0 - Newcastle United 1||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Manchester United 0 - Everton 1||EPL|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|-||Néstor Muslera Micol||Goalkeeper|
The Dutchman excelled on his Manchester United debut against Wigan at the weekend, scoring a goal and making another. If the former Vitesse Arnhem man can repeat such a performance on Wednesday, Patrice Evra's days as a stalwart of Sir Alex's side could be over.
The Morocco international produced a virtuoso performance in Galatasaray's 4-0 league win over Antalyaspor the weekend and will be the Turkish side's best hope for a goal alongside Yilmaz and Elmander in Fatih Terim's potent front three.
United crashed out in the group stage of the competition last season, possibly taking their opponents too lightly, especially at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson will ensure his charges put their Turkish visitors to the sword this time. Expect the Red Devils to send out a message to the rest of Europe with a ruthless display on matchday one.