|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Man United face test of character
November 22, 2005 11:09 IST
Last Updated: November 22, 2005 12:45 IST
Manchester United will look to Ruud van Nistelrooy to end their Champions League goal drought and put the former European champions back on course for the knockout stages on Tuesday.
United, third in Group D with five points, failed to score in home and away games against Lille and face the prospect of elimination should they lose to Villarreal at Old Trafford.
Dutch striker Van Nistelrooy, who scored twice against Charlton on Saturday, has scored 38 times in 45 Champions League matches for United. Villarreal, who will qualify with a victory, are without injured former United striker Diego Forlan and Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme.
Porto, European champions in 1987 and 2004, are also battling to stay in the competition. Defeat at home by Scottish champions Rangers in Group H on Wednesday would end their interest.
Juventus and Bayern Munich are poised to qualify from Group A. Juve would be sure of a place in the last 16 with a draw or win away at Club Bruges while Bayern would also qualify with a victory over Rapid as long as Bruges do not beat Juve.
Unsettled Bayern midfielder Michael Ballack is likely to be absent. The German international has a thigh injury.
Ajax Amsterdam can join Arsenal in qualifying from Group B with a victory at home over Sparta Prague.
Barcelona, on a high after crushing Real Madrid 3-0 at the weekend, will seal top spot in Group C with a win over Werder Bremen. Barca, already assured of a place in the knockout stages, are in daunting form having won their last six games in major competitions, scoring 21 goals and only conceding one.
UEFA Champions League 2005-06: The Complete Coverage