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United can put one foot in the knockout stage with an away win against Cluj
CFR Cluj and Manchester United will meet in Romania in a battle of the top two teams in Group H. Cluj impressed with a 2-0 away win at Braga to open their UCL campaign and can put one foot in to the knockout round with a result at home against the English giants.
Of course, the same principle applies for United who could go a long way towards erasing some of last season's European nightmare with a win away to Cluj. Sir Alex Ferguson will be without veterans Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs for the match. Scholes is being rested, while Giggs and Michael Carrick did not make the trip either with both suffering from an illness.
United did get a boost with Johnny Evans, who was helped off over the weekend in United's home to loss to Spurs. Evans traveled with the team and should be available. Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney are both fit and ready to lead the United attack, unless Ferguson decides to make some tactical changes up front.
Cluj will look to play stingy defense and count of goalkeeper Mario Felgueiras to have another big match. He made ten saves against Brage on match day one, more than any other keeper in the competition. Despite winning their opening match in all three of their ventures into the Champions League, Cluj have failed to win another match in any of those group stages. They'll look to turn that around against United, but it'll be a tall task.
The man to watch for Cluj is Rafael Bastos. He scored both of their goals in the win over Braga.
Our Manchester United blog, The Busby Babes, has more on the match in their in-depth preview.
CFR Cluj injuries and suspensions
Out: Ronny (knee), Ciprian Deac (knee), Adam Vass (foot), Bakary Sare (leg)
Manchester United injuries and suspensions
Out: Paul Scholes (being rested), Ryan Giggs (illness), Michael Carrick (illness), Antonio Valencia (ankle), Nemanja Vidic (knee), Chris Smalling (broken metatarsal), Phil Jones (knee), Ashley Young (ankle). In Doubt: Johnny Evans (leg).
United have a ton of injury problems, both known and new. Vidic, Smalling, Jones and Young remain out with various ailments and Gigge and Carrick join this for this match with illnesses. Scholes is out, but only for rest after going the full 90 minutes on Saturday.
Match Date/Time: 9 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Dr. Constantin Rădulescu Stadium, Cluj-Napoc, Romania
TV: FOX Soccer (U.S.), ITV 1 (U.K.), Sportsnet World (Canada)
Online: FOX Soccer 2 Go (U.S.)