Every once in a while soccer offers big surprises like a
fairly unknown team new to the UEFA Champions League beats one of the favorites
or one of the title contenders fails to advance after the group stages. CFR
Cluj from Romania represents the former, Manchester Unites – the latter.
Such surprises rarely happen and it’s unlikely that, when
these two teams meet on Oct. 2 at the Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu
Stadium in Romania, there is going to be a surprise. Still, the Red Devils need
to be careful given their last performances in the Premier League and in the
Champions League last week.
CFR Cluj are outsiders in Group H. The expectations of them
are not high and they play at home. These two conditions make them a team with
not much to lose and, therefore, dangerous. They are currently in first place
after winning 2-0 against Braga. Manchester United is second beating
CFR Cluj may have started with a comfortable win but the
match wasn’t easy for them. They didn’t have possession of the ball throughout
most of the game, only 35 percent actually, and had just four attempts on
target compared to 23 for Braga.
Man United had more trouble keeping the one-goal lead
against Galatasary. Nani missed a penalty and the game throughout was pretty
even. The problem is that they played at home and their start was, needless to
say, unconvincing. The Red Devils are in more trouble considering their captain
Nemanja Vidic will miss the next eight weeks recovering from a knee surgery.
Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson can now choose only between Ferdinand and
Jonny Evans as the center halves.
Wayne Rooney could return this week, RTE Sports reports.
Even if he does, he probably won’t be at his 100 percent because he has not
played for a month. Man United should not worry though as striker Robin van
Persie has impressed scoring five goals in five matches in the Premier League.
Van Persie however is missing one thing Rooney isn’t – inspiration. Playing
against Liverpool, Man United won but was not the better team on the pitch.
They lacked motivation and focus. They didn’t control the game at any point.
Still, they are better than CFR Cluj in terms of talent. The
Romanian team plays smart tactically. They don’t take unnecessary risks and
have strong defense backed by the wingers. CFR Cluj will likely play patiently
trying to force Man United into making mistakes and count on counter attacks.
Neither CFR Cluj nor Manchester United have impressed with
their game so far. I don’t expect a lot of goals unless the Red Devils have
gone through some kind of transformation after the Liverpool lucky win. CFR
Cluj 1 (because they play at home), Manchester United 2.
The Author of this article is Hristina Tisheva
Manchester United VS Newcastle You Tube Video courtesy of Manchester United