Manchester United vs. Sporting Braga, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Preview and TV schedule

Michael Regan

Manchester United have struggled more than their fans would have liked in their first two matches, but have won both. Expect something similar when they take on Sporting Braga.

It's become an annual tradition that Manchester United start slow, begin to legitimately scare the crap out of their fans come November, right the ship in January, then look like the best side on earth outside of Spain's big two around March. Unfortunately, they didn't have a chance to turn that into success last season, thanks to Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka.

This year appears to be no different, except United is actually turning those scary performances into wins again. The Red Devils haven't looked anything like the best versions of themselves against Galatasaray and Cluj, but came away with three points against both sides anyway. Expect something very similar when they take on Braga, who they should beat comfortably at Old Trafford.

Braga are a good side who do a brilliant job of staying organized and getting men behind the ball against top sides without playing negatively and forgetting to attack. Unfortunately for them, they'll be missing some very good first choice players.

Manchester United injuries and suspensions

Out: Nemanja Vidic (knee), Patrice Evra (rested), Rio Ferdinand (rested). In doubt: Ashley Young (knee)

Sporting Braga injuries and suspensions

Out: Douglão, Djamal, Paulo César. In doubt: Ismaily, Ruben Amorim, Alan

Injuries are going to seriously damage Braga's chances of stealing a surprise point in this match. They'll feel better about their chances if Ismaily and Alan pass late fitness tests, but for now, their potential squad looks thin. Alex Ferguson has opted to rest Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand for the weekend, meaning Alexander Buttner and Scott Wootton are likely to start.

Match Date/Time: 7:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England

TV: FOX Soccer (U.S.), Sportsnet regional networks (Canada), ITV 1 (U.K.), TV1 (Portugal)

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