Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping for defensive stability in this season’s Champions League as United look to avoid last year’s performance of being knocked out in the group stage. United currently have only Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans fit with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling both sidelined with long-term injuries, a situation that United struggled with in last year’s competition. Sir Alex Ferdinand is hoping that the ability to call on two fit central defenders will be key in their European campaign.
Javier Hernandez has stated his happiness at Manchester United describing himself as ‘the happiest player in the world to play for this club’. Hernandez also spoke of the benefits of a summer’s rest followed by his first pre-season with United following consecutive summers of international duty.
Manchester United players will wear black armbands tonight in honour of the two policewoman who lost their lives yesterday whilst on duty in the Greater Manchester area. Ferguson paid respect to the two for ‘protecting our community’.
Sir Alex Ferguson has offered United’s full support to Liverpool in the aftermath of the report released last week absolving Liverpool fans of blame for the Hillsborough disaster. Ferguson continued by criticising a minority section of supporters who sang insensitive chants aimed at Liverpool.
After continued talks between Manchester United and Liverpool, specific gestures will be made in the game just before kick-off. It is being reported that Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez will shake hands in efforts to not deter from the commemoration of the 96 who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster. Additionally, club captains Steven Gerrard and Nemanja Vidic will together release 96 balloons in memory of those who lost their lives.
Nick Powell has spoken of his excitement of being involved in the Champions League after scoring a debut goal against Wigan last weekend. He told Manutd.com that he has been following United’s progress in Europe for many years and is bracing himself to contribute in a competition he has ‘dreamt of playing in’.
Wayne Rooney took part in full training yesterday as he steps up his return from a deep gash sustained on his leg in the win against Fulham last month. Rooney was considered for tonight’s game against Galatasaray but a more likely return will be the game against Liverpool on Sunday.
Manchester United are reportedly targeting Valencia midfielder Sofiane Feghouli. The 23-year-old has been impressive for the Spanish side in recent seasons and should United sell Nani, Ferguson will look to Algerian international Feghouli from cash-strapped Valencia.
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