Manchester United will kick off their title defense campaign in Champions League on Wednesday when they host Spanish club Villarreal at Old Trafford. Starting as defending champion, Manchester United is looking to start off the campaign well. Villarreal made a direct entry to the group stage of Champions League 2008-2009 competition thanks to finishing second in Spanish La Liga last season. So, Villarreal must be gearing up to replicate their last season’s excellent form in this season in order to secure an entrance to the round of 16 from Group E.
Date: 17 September 2008, Wednesday
Venue: Old Trafford
Kick off: 19:45 BST (British Standard Time)
With Manchester United becoming most favorite in Group E, Villarreal is expected to be pitted against Scottish club Celtic for the second spot in the group. The Spanish club finished second in La Liga last season with 8 points deficit from Champion Real Madrid. Villarreal’s recent form is also satisfactory. They defeated Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 on Sunday in La Liga and seem to be confident enough ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.
Defending Champion Manchester United is currently in search of their prime form of last season, in which the Red Devils secured an invaluable doubles including Premier League and Champions League titles. Manchester United suffered a 2-1 defeat to
Manchester United will definitely look to pick up three points from the match, considering the fact that next time they have to face Villarreal in
There are many who consider the current injury spell of United’s Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo has been affecting the performance of the club. Ronaldo has not made his appearance for Manchester United so far this season. With 42 goals, Ronaldo was United’s highest goal scorer in the previous season. The player underwent an ankle surgery following his international duty with
Ahead of the home fixture for Villarreal, Manchester United now has a number of injury problems to contend with. Though Ronaldo is likely to make a come back in the match, Manchester United will not get the service of English midfielder Michael Carrick who picked up with broken bones in his foot in their 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield last weekend. Carrick will be out for at least a month. In his absence, Owen Hargreaves might be rushed back Paul Scholes will also miss the home fixture due to suspension as he was sent off during their loss to Zenit St Petersburg in the European Super Cup Final earlier this season. United will also be without defender Patrice Evra, as the player suffered an injury following the 2-1 loss at Anfield.
Carrick missed this morning's training session for the start of United's Champions League defence against Villarreal tomorrow night but now looks set to also miss the game against
Aalborgand is doubtful for the visit of Celtic on Oct 21.
Earlier today it was revealed that Patrice Evra is also likely to miss the Villarreal game. The 26-year-old left-back was taken to hospital following the defeat at
Ireland's John O’Shea is waiting to step in against Villarreal if Evra is ruled out, but Manchester United's likely starting XI looks thin on ground with Michael Carrick and Cristiano Ronaldo both missing as they start the defence of their European crown.
Strikers Rossi and Kahveci will miss tomorrow’s match due to injury. Rossi has not recovered well from thigh injury, while Kahveci is in his way to come back in action after his surgery.
Online Live Score and Updates
Here, I am giving some names of the online live score websites from where you can get to know about the latest of the match:
Live Football Scores
On pen and paper, Manchester United is favorite against Villarreal, but considering the recent form of the two clubs, I think, it is going to be too close an affair to call. No doubt, United has one of the strongest as well as biggest squads in the