In sharp contrast to last season, Manchester United head into their penultimate Champions League group-phase match already assured of progressing to the next round as group winners.
After last year’s ignominious exit, United have made no such mistakes this time around. While being far from convincing throughout their four matches to date, Sir Alex Ferguson has led his side to four wins meaning that he can afford to rest plenty of first team players for Tuesday’s trip to Istanbul to face Galatasaray.
Star forwards Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have been left in Manchester, as have Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra and David de Gea. In addition, Nani, Shinji Kagawa and Jonny Evans are out with injuries.
The host of absentees means that youngsters like Nick Powell, Davide Petrucci and Scott Wootton are included in the squad. Ferguson has also confirmed that Phil Jones will make his first appearance of the season after injury.
While the match is a dead rubber for United, for Galatasaray it is anything but, as the Turkish giants are involved in a three-way battle for second place in Group H. A 3-1 away win at CFR Cluj two weeks ago leaves Fatih Terim’s side currently in pole position to make the knockout phase, although the Romanian’s sit level on points, with Braga just a point back.
Czech defender Tomas Ujfalusi will still be missing fir Galatasaray but Sabri Sarioglu should be fit, although he is unlikely to start.
D: Eboue, Nounkeu, Cris, Balta
M: Altintop, Melo, Inan, Colak
F: Yilmaz, Bulut
Manchester United (probable)
D: Rafael, Jones, Wootton, Buttner
M: Cleverley, Anderson, Fletcher
F: Hernandez, Welbeck
Prediction: With a much changed Manchester United lineup, it is how to predict how the match will pan put. But Galatasaray were unlucky not to emerge from Old Trafford with at least a point and they could well get a share of the spoils back on home soil.
Galatasaray 1-1 Manchester United
Where to watch: The Champions League encounter kicks-off from the Turk Telekom Arena at 2.45 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by Fox Soccer Plus with a live stream available via FoxSoccer2Go.