Manchester United team to play CFR Cluj, we have live score commentary updates from the match.
De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Anderson, Fletcher, Cleverley; Rooney; Hernandez, van Persie
Team news and preview ahead of the Champions League Group H clash between CFR Cluj and Manchester United.
Manchester United, who suffered a shock 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday evening, have named several youngsters in their 21-man travelling party against CFR Cluj deep in Transylvania, Romania.
Fitness wise, the main area of concern for Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of Tuesday’s game is his midfield options. The manager’s three most experienced men in that department – Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes – did not travel to Romania for various reasons.
“Carrick didn’t report today, he’s in bed with a virus,” Sir Alex confirmed on Monday. “Ryan also felt rough this morning and we sent him home. We left Paul Scholes behind.
“Those three players are missing – two with a virus and Paul Scholes because, although he looked great this morning and played great on Saturday, at 37 years of age I can’t expect him to play three games like that [Tottenham, Cluj, Newcastle].”
With Saturday’s starting midfield of Carrick, Scholes and Giggs unavailable, Ferguson is set to restore Anderson to the team following his impressive Capital One Cup performance in the victory over Newcastle last week.
There was some good news for Ferguson with Jonny Evans available despite taking a knock in the closing stages against Spurs, with Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all remaining on the sidelines through injury.
Evans and Rio Ferdinand are therefore expected to be paired in the centre of defence, while youngsters Michael Keane and Scott Wootton have been included as cover.
Antonio Valencia (ankle) and Ashley Young (knee) will also not feature, meaning Darren Fletcher, Jesse Lingard, Nick Powell and Ryan Tunnicliffe are among Ferguson’s midfield options.
Michael Carrick’s goal ensured Ferguson’s side beat Galatasaray 1-0 in their opening Group H encounter and they will be keen to build on that success in Romania, with their opponents currently top of the standings after a 2-0 success in their first group match away to Braga.
Ferguson has talked about his team’s defending, he knows they must regain composure for this potentially tricky European away tie could test his depleted squad.
Players to watch:
Wayne Rooney: After nearly a month out because of the thigh injury he suffered in the league match against Fulham, Wayne came on as a substitute for Ryan Giggs in Saturday’s loss to Tottenham, and was the man who helped reignite the second half for Manchester United. Last season’s failure in Europe will most likely still haunt him, and that should spur him on to up his game even further.
Rafael Bastos: Brazilian midfielder Bastos scored twice in Cluj’s first group stage match against SC Braga and looks to be the back-bone of the squad. His fast-paced blinding runs could really cripple a weakened Manchester United and the Romanian champions will do their utmost to make Manchester United suffer.
Cluj (from): Felgueiras, Mincă, Stăncioiu, Nuno Claro, Pinto, Panin, Sepsi, Maftei, Piccolo, Cadú, Rada, Camora, Nuno Diogo, Saré, Mureșan, Deac, Valente, VNicoară, Kivuvu, Bastos, Vass, Hora, Godemèche, Luís Alberto, Celestino, Lignani, Aguirregaray, Godfred, Kapetanos, Sergiu Buș, Bjelanović, Negruț, Ronny, Rui Pedro, Ganea, Sougou.
Man United (from): De Gea, Lindegaard; Buttner, Evans, Evra, Ferdinand, M. Keane, Rafael, Wootton; Anderson, Cleverley, Fletcher, Lingard, Nani, Powell, Tunnicliffe; Hernandez, Kagawa, Rooney, van Persie, Welbeck.