Manchester United

Champions League Football Forecast

Shockingly enough the world still manages to rotate whilst the whole Wayne Rooney saga continues to shock us all. A few low key European football matches will go on as Man United fans get to grips with the fact that they may have to face the not so distant future without their most important asset. Oh well, life goes on…

GROUP A

FC Twente vs. Werder Bremen

Dutch champs FC Twente host German Bremen as both teams hope to revamp their Champions League campaign in what could be a tight contest. Steve McLaren’s former side look to put a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Tottenham behind them and look to build on the performance which saw them draw 2-2 with current holders Inter Milan in their first game of the competition. Luuk de Jong (who has scored 18 in 19 for Twente) and Denny Landzaat look set to replace the injured Emir Bajrami and Bart Buysse.

Level on a single point with Twente, Werder Bremen also in need of a quick resurgence of confidence in Europe after an embarrassing 4-0 defeat at the San Siro. Claudio Pizarro looks set to be rested tonight but Torsten Frings and Clemens Fritz return to the team. Watch out for Aaron Hunt who caused a number of problems to the Tottenham defence in their first game of the Champions League.

FC Twente 1 – 2 Werder Bremen

Internazionale vs. Tottenham

The game that all Lily Whites supporters have been waiting for since the group announcements. Rafa Benitez is set to face his first Premier League team since being sacked as Liverpool manager in the summer, the San Siro sets the lucrative stage for what could be a great game.

Inter are without Diego Milito, but with a fully fit Samuel Eto’o they won’t be too concerned. Goran Pandev, Esteban Cambiasso Ivan Cordoba all look set to return. Third in Serie A, two points behind leaders Lazio and Rafa Benitez’s will be looking for a confident victory to keep up momentum after a win over Cagliari at the weekend.

Rafael Van der Vaart is suspended tonight following his red card against FC Twente, with Jermaine Jenas looking set to him. Old ‘Arry will hope his side can keep up their unbeaten run of three games following their victory against Fulham at the weekend.

Internazionale 2 – 1 Tottenham

GROUP B

Lyon vs. Benfica

Lyon will hope to stay top of the table with their third win of the competition if they can beat Benfica tonight. Claude Puel’s side will be without the services of Jeremy Toulalon, but Yoann Gourcuff and Michel Bastos will start for the French side.

Oscar Cardozo looks set to miss out on the game at the Stade de Gerland for Benfica, who hope to to build on their only win so far against Hapoel Tel-Aviv.

Lyon 2 – 2 Benfica

Schalke vs. Hapoel Tel-Aviv

Felix Magath and Mario Gavranovic looks set to return from injury for Schalke tonight. The German outfit have already won their first game of the competition and hope to effectively put Hapoel Tel-Aviv out of any realistic chance of reaching the later stages by beating them tonight at the Veltins-Arena.

Hapoel hope to turn around all their misfortunes by picking up their first points of this Champions League campaign. The Israeli team will be without goalscorer Yadin, but it looks as if Ben-Dayan  could return to the side.

Schalke 3 – 0 Hapoel Tel-Aviv

GROUP C

Man United vs. Bursaspor

Apparently Wayne Rooney won’t be playing tonight because he’s been suffering with an ankle injury for some time (though the player protests otherwise – strange), triggered during training on Tuesday.

Aside from floods of news surrounding the estranged Man United striker, they’ll also be without the services of Michael Owen, who is sure to be a great miss. Ryan Giggs is also missing tonight with a hamstring injury.

Javier Hernandez is likely to start against Bursaspor, who have yet to pick up a single point, languishing at the bottom of the table.

Man United 3 – 0 Bursaspor

Rangers vs. Valencia

A vital game for both teams who are fighting for qualification to the second round. Walter Smith’s side are level on points with Man United after taking a point at Old Trafford and beating Bursaspor. Lee Mculloch and James Beattie are set to miss out for Rangers.

It will prove a tough trip to the Ibrox for Valencia though the Spaniards have set hig expectations for the season as they lie fourth in La Liga, level on points with Barcelona and Villareal. Though they took the lead at Camp Nou at the weekend, Villareal were brought back down to earth, eventually losing 2-1 to Barcelona.

Rangers 2 – 1 Valencia

GROUP D

Barcelona vs. Copenhagen

The Spanish champions have had somewhat of a rocky spell domestically haven been beaten by Hercules and Athletic Bilbao, but surely they couldn’t face further embarrassment at the hands of Copenhagen? No, probably not following their win over Vallencia at the weekend.

The win came at a cost though, as virtuoso extraordinaire Lionel Messi was stretchered from the pitch in injury time. Victor Valdez has been stricken down with illness, therefore Jose Pinto will start for Barca. Xavi is also missing due to an Achilles tendon problem.

Copenhagen top Group D and look to keep up their 100% record as they travel to the Nou Camp this evening. Solvi Otteson and Martin Bergvolds are missing for the Danish club.

Barcelona 2 – 0 Copenhagen

Panathinaikos vs. Rubin Kazan

Following his sending off against Copenhagen, Gilberto Silva will miss the tie against Rubin Kazan in a match both teams will desperately hope to win in an attempt to close the gap between themselves, Barca and Copenhagen.

Rubin Kazan have only one injury doubt Roman Sharonov, who will remain out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Pananthinaikos 1 – 0 Rubin Kazan


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