Champions League Match Preview: CFR Cluj Vs Manchester United, Barcelona Vs Benfica
Reeling from the 3-2 shocking defeat at home to Tottenham at the weekend, the Old Trafford manager will want an immediate reaction from his players, but will have to be wary of the Romanians.
Manchester United has left several key players at home for the trip to Transylvania with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Antonio Valencia and Michael Carrick all absent.
Nemanja Vidic (knee), Phil Jones (knee) and Chris Smalling (metatarsal) all remain out, so the pressure will be on United’s defence once again to hold firm and free of injury. Jonny Evans is a doubt, but should be passed fit to play, and youngsters Scott Wootton and Michael Keane are also in the squad.
Darren Fletcher (stomach) could be handed a role after starting against Newcastle in the League Cup last week.
Vasile Maftei is available for the hosts after having served a one-game suspension on match day one.
Ciprian Deac (cruciate), Adam Vass (metatarsal), Bakary Sare (leg) and Ronny (knee) will all definitely miss out for the Romanians.
CFR CLUJ Felguerias Pinto, Cadu, Rada, Sepsi Muresan, Alberto Sougou, Bastos, Camora Kapetanos
De Gea Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Buttner Cleverley, Fletcher, Anderson Nani, Rooney, Welbeck
On the other hand, ioto Vilanova’s men will be hosted in Lisbon to take on the two-time European Champions, Benfica.
Benfica will be without talismanic striker Oscar Cardozo, who has been ruled out of the Champions League encounter with a muscle injury. Manager Jorge Jesus will likely turn to Rodrigo Lima to feature in attack as the Brazilian bagged a brace against Pacos Ferreira at the weekend.
Also missing for the Portuguese side is Brazilian defender Luisao who is currently serving a two-month ban from football after pushing a referee in a pre-season friendly match.
Barcelona have been rocked by the news this week that Thiago Alcantara will be out for two months after rupturing his knee ligaments in the 3-2 win over Sevilla on Saturday.
However, Tito Vilanova has received some good news heading into the vital group stage match on Tuesday. Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta and Adriano have all been passed fit and took part in a full training session on Sunday. Gerard Pique will likely miss the match as he is still recovering from injury.
POSSIBLE LINE UPS
Artur Pereira, Garay, Jardel, Melgarejo Salvio, Aimar, Enzo Perez, Gaitan Rodrigo, Lima
Valdes, Dani Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Alba Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta Cesc, Messi, Villa
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