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UEFA Champions League

  • December 5, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: D. Orsato
  • • Attendance: 71521

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



Rafael, Smalling, Jones, Buttner

Cleverley, Giggs, Fletcher, Young
Welbeck, Hernandez

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.

  • 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.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
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Head to Head
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Dec 5, 2012 Man Utd. 0 - CFR Cluj 1
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Oct 2, 2012 CFR Cluj 1 - Man Utd. 2
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
4Phil JonesDefender
12Chris SmallingDefender
28Alexander BüttnerDefender
31Scott WoottonDefender
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
-Nick PowellMidfielder
10Wayne RooneyStriker
14Javier 'Chicharito' HernandezStriker
19Danny WelbeckStriker
13Anders LindegaardGoalkeeper
36Marnick VermijlDefender
18Ashley YoungMidfielder
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
24Darren FletcherMidfielder
27Federico MachedaStriker
1Mário FelgueirasGoalkeeper
-Ivo PintoDefender
13Felice PiccoloDefender
24Ionut RadaDefender
6Gabriel MuresanMidfielder
16Rafael BastosMidfielder
-Luís AlbertoMidfielder
-Rui PedroStriker
99M. SougouStriker
44Eduard StăncioiuGoalkeeper
33Laszlo SepsiDefender
24Vasile MafteiGoalkeeper
4M. AguirregarayDefender
-Nicolas GodemècheMidfielder
-Pantelis KapetanosStriker
32Sasa BjelanovicStriker
Players to Watch
Darren Fletcher
Darren Fletcher
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 24
Games Goals YC RC
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
Rui Pedro
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
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.
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.
Editor's Prediction

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