Manchester United go into this match with one eye on their Sunday clash with Liverpool. Copenhagen are no mugs (as Benfica and Celtic have found out) but playing at Old Trafford, with United back in good form, it’s quite likely that we will motor through in second gear and keep the players fresh for Sunday.
Ferguson has been in a bullish mood since the win over Wigan and he has good reason to. Giggs is returning, Ronaldo has been in the form of his life, Saha is banging in goals, Rooney is returning to form, Scholes and Carrick are gelling together and even Solskjaer is doing more than just deflecting goals in.
It’s not just the strikers that are doing good. Fletcher is having a great season, so are Evra and Vidic. Heinze is returning to fitness, Neville is ever-present while van der Sar and Ferdinand are bedrocks of United’s defence. Even the backups – Kuzczack, Brown and O’Shea – are looking good.
The only questions are on the form of Richardson, and the ability of Smith to play well as a striker again. Both should get some playing time next week in the Carling Cup.
This match will be all about controlling the midfield and getting Carrick to be more ‘commanding’ – his passing is excellent but he rarely tackles and against players like Alonso and Gerrard he will give away far too much space.
Expect Ronaldo and Smith to play a part, even if they make appearances from the bench.
Rooney hasn’t scored in 11 Champions League games, but this is the easiest stage yet for him to score.
Manchester United Injuries Update
Gary Neville and Cristiano Ronaldo are expected to be fit for today’s match. There’s still a question of whether their participation will be needed or not, and because of that there’s a good chance that Ronaldo could be sat on the bench while Neville sits out and waits for the Liverpool game.
Park is still out, Heinze is pencilled in for a return on Sunday while Smith should play some part in today’s match, especially if Manchester United can put in a couple of early goals.
Starting Lineup Predictions
Starting Lineup: van der sar, O’Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Rooney, Saha.
Substitutes: Kusczak, Ronaldo, Brown, Fletcher, Smith, Solskjaer, David Jones
Saha will be looking to build upon his short but impressive Champions League career, and he’ll be in pole position to add to his tally of goals against a Copenhagen defence that is effective but lacks the quality to stop the likes of Rooney, Giggs and Saha getting through.
Shots on Goal: 5
Shots wide: 5
Match Result Predictions
We’re going to win this one, the only question being the goals margin. Everyone’s going for 3, I’m going for 6, with Saha, Carrick and Rooney guaranteed to score.