Man United Chases Perfect Home Record

Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au
Wayne Rooney should return from suspension this week. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au
With his side safely through to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, Manchester United manager David Moyes is looking to rotate his squad for the clash against Shakhtar Donetsk at Old Trafford on Wednesday morning (AEST). A point against the Ukrainian champions would confirm top spot for the Red Devils and ensure the second leg of their last-16 tie in the Champions League would be at home in March.

While midfielder Michael Carrick hasn’t recovered from an Achilles injury, striker Wayne Rooney is available after serving a one-match ban. The Red Devils are desperate to post a morale boosting victory after consecutive EPL losses at Old Trafford. The team produced probably its best performance of the season on Matchday 5 of the Champions League with a 5-0 hammering of Bayer Leverkusen.

In October, Shakhtar held the EPL champion to a 1-1 draw at home, but its form since has been inconsistent including a 4-0 loss to Leverkusen but it thumped bottom-place Real Sociedad by the same scoreline last start in this competition. Mircea Lucescu’s team is one win away from an unlikely spot in the second phase but with the German outfit a solitary point behind in third spot, the Ukrainians may not even need to take a point away from the Theatre of Dreams to progress from Group A. That would be unlikely, though, given the Spanish team’s form throughout the tournament.

If United takes the three points from this match, it will be the first time in six years the glamour club has won all games at Old Trafford in the group stage of the Champions League. Shakhtar has won its last four matches in all competitions and star striker, Brazilian Luiz Adriano, has found the back of the net in his last three appearances. 

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