Manchester United - CFR Cluj Preview: Hosts seek to maintain unbeaten European home record
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
By James McManus
Rafael, Smalling, Jones, Buttner
Cleverley, Giggs, Fletcher, Young
Pinto, Maftei, Cadu, Sepsi
Bastos, Camora, Muresan, Sougou
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.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester United 3-0 CFR Cluj
- 17.58 %
Manchester United 3-1 CFR Cluj
- 15.61 %
Manchester United 2-0 CFR Cluj
- 13.4 %
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