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UEFA Champions League

  • 5 December 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: D. Orsato
  • • Attendance: 71521
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Manchester United - CFR Cluj Preview: Hosts seek to maintain unbeaten European home record

Manchester United - CFR Cluj Preview: Hosts seek to maintain unbeaten European home record

مباراة المان يونايتد وريدينج

Sir Alex Ferguson's side are assured of top spot in the group and face the reigning Romanian champions, who still stand an outside chance of qualification for the knockout stages

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

MANCHESTER UNITED

Lindegaard
Rafael, Smalling, Jones, Buttner

Cleverley, Giggs, Fletcher, Young
Welbeck, Hernandez
CFR CLUJ

Felgueiras
Pinto, Maftei, Cadu, Sepsi

Bastos, Camora, Muresan, Sougou
Pedro, Kapetanos

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will likely use the game as an opportunity to rest several key players having already assured of qualification to the next round and with the Manchester derby against rivals City to look forward to on Sunday.

The 70-year-old Scot also faces something of an injury crisis in midfield, with Anderson (hamstring), Shinji Kagawa (knee), Nani (hamstring), Antonio Valencia (thigh) and centre-back Nemanja Vidic (knee) all certain to miss out.

CFR Cluj boss Paulo Sergio, meanwhile, will be without the injured Bakary Sare (broken leg) and star striker Ronny (ligaments), who are both long-term casualties.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester United have conceded the first goal in 14 of their 22 games this season across all competitions.
  • The Red Devils lost their 100 per cent European record in their last outing, a 1-0 defeat to Galatasaray.
  • In the reverse fixture in Romania, United won 2-1 courtesy of a Robin van Persie double after Pantelis Kapetanos had opened the scoring.
  • Ryan Giggs [pictured right] has scored in a record 16 Champions League seasons. He is also the competition's oldest scorer, at 37 years and 289 days.
  • CFR Cluj still stand a chance of qualifying if Galatasaray fail to beat Braga in Portugal and they pick up a positive result, with both teams separated only by goal difference.
  • The reigning Romanian champions currently sit in 6th place in their domestic league, 15 points off leaders Steaua Bucaresti.
  • The visitors are unbeaten away from home in Europe this term over four games, having won three and drawn once.
  • Cadu is the sole survivor in the squad from Cluj's only previous trip to England, a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea in the 2008-09 group stage on December 9 2008.
  • The Romanians have committed 89 fouls in the competition so far this campaign, more than any other side.
  • Their manager Paulo Sergio has previously tasted success in Britain having won the Scottish Cup whilst in charge of Hearts.

Players to watch

D. Fletcher

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Still rough around the edges after a long battle with a bowel issue, the Scotland international is still working his way back to full fitness.

He will need to be at his best to help stem the wave of attacks likely to come down the United flanks in his role screening the hosts' back four.

Rui Pedro

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The club's top goalscorer this season has eight goals in all competitions, and will be desperate to get on the scoresheet at such an illustrious venue.

The Portuguese forward is in excellent form having bagged a hat trick in the last round of games against Braga and a goal against league rivals FC Universitatea Cluj a week later.

Editor's Prediction

With United keeping an eye on a fixture at the weekend and their qualification already in the bag, the obvious gap in quality between these sides may not come into play as much. 

The hosts are currently struggling to keep clean sheets and Cluj have proved dangerous away from home in Europe, therefore expect an exciting encounter full of goals and sloppy defending.

Last Five Matches

CFR Cluj

  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • SCS CFR 1907 Cluj CFR
    2 - 1
    FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti DIN
  • FCM Baia Mare MBM
    0 - 3
    SCS CFR 1907 Cluj CFR
  • ASA Târgu Mureş TGM
    2 - 0
    SCS CFR 1907 Cluj CFR
  • SCS CFR 1907 Cluj CFR
    1 - 0
    FC Universitatea Cluj UNI
  • AS Viitorul Axintele VTA
    0 - 2
    SCS CFR 1907 Cluj CFR

Head To Head

Manchester United

CFR Cluj

Wins
1
0
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester United FC MNU
Manchester United FC Manchester United
Draw
SCS CFR 1907 Cluj CFR
SCS CFR 1907 Cluj CFR Cluj
89%

Top 3 Predictions

Manchester United FC MNU
3 - 0
SCS CFR 1907 Cluj CFR
Manchester United FC MNU
3 - 1
SCS CFR 1907 Cluj CFR
Manchester United FC MNU
2 - 0
SCS CFR 1907 Cluj CFR

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