Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Besiktas v Man United Match Preview

Here we are again. Can Manchester United achieve a third successive final in the UEFA Champions League? today’s game against Besiktas will be tough. In fact, the whole of Group B will not be easy. German Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg will be difficult but the major test will be the home and away ties to CSKA Moscow.

But Man Utd are still firm favourites. And despite the difficult opposition in this group, many will expect nothing more than a first place finish. First up, Besiktas. Liverpool did beat them 8-0 at Anfield a few years ago, Ryan Babel hitting a hat-trick but it is unlikely that a similar result will happen in Turkey.

The hostile atmosphere described by former Turkey goalkeeper Rustu Recber, as the “noisiest, most passionate fans” and the veteran believes that it may be “hell” for United.

Man Utd are in great form at the moment, but Besiktas on the other hand are not. One win from five games wasn’t exactly how the Turkish league champions would have liked their title defence to get underway.

Who will United play today?
Ben Foster looks likely to keep his place in goal after a much improved performance against Tottenham Hotspur, while the back four should remain the same. Either Antonio Valencia, Nani or Park should get the two winger spots but who will play in the centre of midfield is unclear. Michael Carrick may get a nod, but who will partner him? Wayne Rooney and possibly Michael Owen could start up front, but we will see if that is the case.

Besiktas have some familiar names. Rustu Recber, of course, and Nihat Kahveci, who played for Spanish outfit Villareal in past seasons, and he will no doubt be the main threat. The side are not short of talent. German Michael Fink is a good player, and Matias Delgado, the Argentinian, along with Brazilian Bobo are also players to watch out for.

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