Manchester United host CFR Cluj at home on Wednesday in a Group H encounter of the UEFA
Champions League at Old Trafford, and being already guaranteed of a place in the knockout stages
as group winners, manager Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to ring in the changes, just as he did not the
previous match day against Galatasaray. On that night in Istanbul, United fielded an extremely young
side and Sir Alex was witness to one of the best performances put up by them, especially new midfield
signing from League Two side Crewe Alexandra Nick Powell.
The England U-21 international reminded the crowd present of a young Paul Scholes with his passing,
vision and movement and being at Manchester United, the youngster is expected to become a player of
a similar caliber to the Manchester United legend, if not better. Being guaranteed top spot in the group,
United would have thought that things would have been easy as they could avoid the likes of Real
Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan and Arsenal but the way the other groups have panned out, it is almost
certain that United will have to contend with one of the tougher opponents in the first knockout stages.
United are again expected to rest the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans at the back with Phil Jones
and Chris Smalling, both returning from injuries, expected to take their places while Ryan Tunnicliffe
is expected to be given a start in midfield alongside Powell, Fletcher and Ashley Young. England
international Danny Welbeck and Mexican hotshot Javier Hernandez is also set to get a nod ahead of
Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie in attack.
David de Gea is expected to be handed a rare start in goal after several matches as he tries to keep up
the pressure on Anders Lindegaard who seems to have made the goalkeeper’s jersey his own at the
club. Dutch left back Alexander Buttner is also expected to feature in the match at some time, but after
his horrific performances against SC Braga on match day 4, it is highly uncertain whether he will be
given a start or not. There have been talks of sending him out on loan to another club to increase his
development but with United short of options in the left back role, it is almost impossible that Sir Alex
will part with the youngster at any point.