Johnstone, Lindegaard; Rafael, Buttner, Jones, Thorpe, Vermijl, Wootton; Carrick, Petrucci, Cole, Cleverley, Fletcher, Anderson, Powell, Young, Tunnicliffe; Hernandez, King, Welbeck, Macheda
Manchester United have taken a young squad to face Galatasaray tomorrow night in the Champions League.
It makes sense that Sir Alex is giving the majority of his first team players a rest as it would be silly to risk them in what is going to be a fierce game in Istanbul and with no van Persie, Rooney, Evra, Ferdinand or Scholes travelling with the team, it is sure to be a very youthful Manchester United side.
It is great news that Phil Jones makes his return to the squad for the first time this season. As well as him, Davide Petrucci has made his return from a rib injury and with Thorpe, Vermijl and King all travelling with the squad as well, Sir Alex is giving the youngsters a chance to taste a European away night.
We have made the trip to “hell” twice in the past and have failed to win on both occasions but with qualification already secured, this will be more of an opportunity to give some of the younger players in the squad the chance to experience a European away atmosphere.
The loss to Norwich at the weekend was coming at some point this season. Our attacking prowess has saved our blushes on more than one occasion this year but our pedestrian midfield and out of form wingers never looked like forging a comeback at Carrow Road on Saturday.
Despite qualification already being secure, Sir Alex will want an instant response from his team in Istanbul tomorrow. Galatasaray still have it all to play for in the group and the intimidating atmosphere will make it a fierce evening. Although Sir Alex will want to give experience to the youngsters, he will be more interested in securing a victory.
If Manchester United can win the last two remaining fixtures in the group, we will become the first English side to go through the Champions League group stages undefeated – which wouldn’t be a bad turnaround from last years group stage humiliation by any stretch of the imagination.