United travel to the Scots - Fighting for Number 1
By Andrew Cuff
Wednesday 05 Nov 2008 13:00:00
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As we move into the second half of the first stage of the Champions League. After a humiliating defeat at Old Trafford, Celtic will be seeking to regain the respect of their English counter-parts. Ferguson is going to Celtic with a full squad to tackle the Scots. The undertone to this is Ferguson has initiated the fight for the United number one shirt.
Van Der Sar has been left at home for the clash against Celtic, meaning that either Kuszczak or Foster will be starting tonight against the Celtic onslaught. Ben Foster finally recovering from 18 month's worth of injury can finally be considered for the first team squad again, though Kuszczak is not going to make his assent easy. United have for many years struggled for good young goalkeepers and now Ferguson is blessed to have two promising youngsters in his ranks. Van Der Sar has been holding the fort at United and been helping Steele, United's goalkeeper coach condition the two youngsters for first team starts. It is also known that whichever one of the youngsters plays tonight will be competing against the other's performance in next weeks clash in the Carling Cup.
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United are also without Wes Brown due to an ankle injury, Hargreaves and Scholes are still out with knee injuries, though thankfully it looks like Hargreaves is not going to need surgery. Gary Neville seems likely to be on the bench after reporting a injury worry in training, though details are still unknown as to whether he will be match fit for the clash against Arsenal. United are likely to start with a familiar defence in Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra and Rafael in the right back position. The midfield is likely to see Fletcher and Anderson, Nani and Ronaldo starting with Park as 60 minute replacement for Ronaldo as Ferguson is likely to save his stars for Arsenal this weekend. Up front I expect we will see Berbatov alongside Tevez, as Ferguson rests Rooney and keep s Berbatov after his two amazing goals against Celtic two weeks ago.
Celtic have an injury ridden squad and will be missing, Vennegor, Samaras, Killen, Loovens and Crosas and leaves Gordon Strachen to choose from Boruc, Hinkel, Naylor, Caldwell, McManus, Wilson, Maloney, McGeady, Scott Brown, Hartley, Robson, Donati, McDonald, McCourt, Sheridan, Mark Brown, Nakamura, O'Dea, Caddis.
While in previous years United have become blaze in some vital matches and has lost vital points in previous seasons, Fletcher has been warning his team-mates about being overly relaxed about a victory against Celtic. Although United lie 6 points ahead of Celtic and Aab Aalborg the are level with Villarreal who take on Aalborg.
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