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Manchester United Ready for Marseille

Marseille go to Old Trafford with the tie 0-0

Manchester United will be looking to back up their 2-0 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup with progression to the last eight of the Champions League.

United have been suffering with a long absence list over the last few weeks but have found a way to keep their challenge going on more than one front. This tie is dangerous at 0-0 because Marseille will go to Old Trafford with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Nemanja Vidic should take a place in the centre of United’s defence after the ban he picked up for the club through English domestic games. Vidic will install an air of calm and authority around the team that is vital on European occasions such as this. Both of the Da Silva brothers could play down the wings for the second match running.

Antonio Valencia made his comeback during the game with Arsenal and it couldn’t have come sooner as Nani is still ruled out with a bad gash to his leg. Valencia may still need more match minutes under his belt but the importance of this match could force Sir Alex Ferguson into choosing the Ecuadorian international.

Ryan Giggs should feature in this game from the start and he will add even more experience and calm around the team. Giggs has been involved in dozens of European games for the club and some that have been far more nerve wracking than this match. Giggs and Valencia could be locked in a battle as to who starts down the left of the side.

In the middle of team Ferguson will desperately want to get the likes of Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes and Anderson all involved but at this moment in time it’s a lottery as to which of these players will be involved from the start, if at all.

Up front the selection choices that Ferguson has to make are simpler. There’s very little reason for United to go with a formation anything other than 4-4-2. Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov should start in attack despite the reported problems between Rooney and the management team that were reported in the press over the weekend.

There are a few players who will play no part at all in this match. Michael Owen could be on the bench but he is struggling with his own match fitness. Owen Hargreaves won’t feature due to persistent knee and hamstring problems. Nani will be out of action for a few more weeks due to the gash on his leg. Rio Ferdinand is badly needed back by the club but is still carrying a small injury and Park Ji-Sung is closing in on a return from a hamstring problem.

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