Much of this weeks news has been regarding the future of Wayne Rooney, but one thing is for sure, with or without the England international, Manchester United are a team, but a team in bad form and once that needs a good performance to get its season back on track and what better time to show the world that this team can win without Rooney in the line-up.
The stage is set and Manchester United welcome Bursaspor to Old Trafford in the Champions League, with no Wayne Rooney as he has an ankle injury sustained in training from a challenge by Paul Scholes.
Along with the missing Rooney, United will also be without Ryan Giggs who aggravated a hamstring injury at the weekend, Owen Hargreaves is still unable to take part in first team duty and Ji-Sung Park is still recovering from a knee problem. Whilst in defence Jonny Evans is out with a hip injury.
So Sir Alex Ferguson has a few headaches with team selection, but don’t expect Edwin van der Sar to be dropped after his clanger at the weekend, he along with the back four should remain constant for the visit of the Turkish champions.
Paul Scholes will likely come into midfield in place of Ryan Giggs with Anderson moving to a more left sided position and Javier Hernandez will continue to partner Dimitar Berbatov after scoring at the weekend.
Bursaspor have their own player difficulties with winger Volkan Sen being left out of their weekend game against Karabukspor as punishment for travelling to the United States to visit his girlfriend without permission.
One player though, United should be worried about is Sercan Yildirim the 20-year-old striker, whose pace will be something to look out for.
In terms of the match, Bursaspor coach Ertugrul Saglam is in a positive mood, but is not expecting any favours despite the recent turmoil surrounding Old Trafford.
“United are going through a troubled time,” he stated. “There is no reason why we cannot return to Turkey with a surprise result,” he continued, even finding time to acknowledge Rooney,
“Manchester United have the depth of quality in their squad to know that whoever they put in to replace Rooney is likely to be of a very high standard.”
“I certainly don’t think it is going to be an advantage for us, or a disadvantage for them.” He concluded.
Some positive news is that Bursaspor have lost their last six European games and haven’t scored, also, they are yet to find the net in five European games away from the Bursa Ataturk Stadium.
United sit top of Group C and should be able to get three points over a side that have been beaten by both Valencia and Rangers but lets just hope if the team go two-nil up they don’t capitulate as has been the norm this season.
Expect a galvanized team and players that will want to show every United fan that they appreciate wearing the shirt, and also showing Wayne Rooney that he can leave… we will do just fine without him.
Prediction: 3-0 United
Probable Line Up: van der Sar, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Anderson; Hernandez, Berbatov
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