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Match Preview: Manchester United vs Marseille

Sid Monday, March 14, 2011

Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: Tuesday, 15th March 2011
Venue: Old Trafford
Kick Off: 19:45 GMT

Following the 2-0 victory against Arsenal on Saturday, the team spirits must be high at the moment, and we couldn't have picked a better time to face Marseille in the Champions league 2nd leg tie. The fixture hangs in the balance after a 0-0 draw at Marseille in the 1st leg, and both teams have an equally good chance of qualification!

Marseille meanwhile come into the game on the back of a 2-0 victory over 2nd placed Rennes in Ligue 1, putting them back into contention for the Ligue 1 title. Marseille along with Lyon, Rennes and Paris St Germain are the 4 teams that are challenging league toppers Lille for the Ligue 1 title this season, in a closely fought battle!

Team News
            United were boosted by the news of early return to training of Nani and Michael Carrick, both of whom Sir Alex has confirmed will be part f the squad for the game. Meanwhile, Michael Owen, Owen Hargreaves and Park have returned to light training, but Rio Ferdinand, Anderson and Darren Fletcher all miss out on the game due to injuries.

Marseille on the other hand will be without their main striker Brandao, who’s in being charged with assault and will mostly miss the tie. Mathieu Valbeuna who has just returned from injury should also be fit to face United.

Expectations and Predicted Result
United should go into the game yet to lose a game at home this season, and dropping only 4 points so far this season at Old Trafford. United are certainly favorites for this game, but we must also be wary of the consequences of Marseille scoring an away goal!

The team must ensure they go for a win and I think Sir Alex will put out an experienced team that should be able to beat this Marseille side comfortably! United might target Gabriel Heinze, who’s lack of pace can be easily exploited, especially in he’s playing at LB, against our pacy wingers But in the previous two games, Didier Deschamps has preferred playing Heinze at the center of defense, something Hernandez’s pace can exploit!

Also Sir Alex won't risk both Valencia or Nani, so i'm expecting them both to be on the bench, likely to come on only if absolutely needed, especially in the case of Nani! So i'm going with Fabio to get another start as the Left winger.

I’m expecting a closely fought battle, but United should win this game 2-1.

Predicted Manchester United Lineup 
Formation: 4-4-2

Van der Sar; Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Fabio, Gibson, Scholes, Giggs; Berbatov, Rooney.
Subs: Lindegaard, O’Shea, Carrick, Nani, Valencia, Morrison/King, Hernandez.


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